AP Style Newswriting sample - profile interview


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Writing sample using AP style journalism. This interview was published in College of Lake County college newspaper in 2008.

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AP Style Newswriting sample - profile interview

  1. 1. Gini WestApril 17, 2008AP Style Newswriting Sample: Profile Interview – Teresa AguinaldoText: Finding a safe place: Life experiences inspire creation of Women’s CenterWhen Teresa Aguinaldo discovered that CLC did not offer support services forwomen, she was determined to start a program, knowing how importantthose services had been to her personally when she was a student.Teresa Aguinaldo started freshman year in college at the University ofMissouri – Columbia. At age 18 she was a single mother, bringing her one-year-old child to school with her each day.More
  2. 2. Aguinaldo finished her undergraduate degree and went on to get a Master’sshe said, “because of the support I got from my friends, my family and theWomen’s Center at Columbia.”She is now an instructor who has taught English and Communication Arts atCollege of Lake County since 1991. In addition to teaching classes at theCollege, Aguinaldo is the Faculty Advisor for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual andTransgender (LGBT) community at CLC and Coordinator for the CLC Women’sCenter.She married briefly, divorced, and is now re-married. The little boy she tookwith her to school when in college is now 25 years old. She has two moresons, age 21 and 11, and a granddaughter, age 4.Aguinaldo founded the Women’s Center at CLC in 2002 after taking a one-year sabbatical to study women’s centers in other community colleges and 4-year universities across the county.“When I was in college I was different from the general population,” shesaid. “I was a single mother, I didn’t want a sorority and I wasn’t in thedorms. My life was very different from other people’s lives at this biguniversity. Thank God for the Women’s Center because I might have feltalone enough that I wouldn’t want to be there.”The Women’s Center at CLC is open to all students but provides specialsupport for single mothers, returning female students, displacedhomemakers, nontraditional career-seekers, victims of rape/sexual abuseand domestic violence, women in cultural transition andgay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender students.More
  3. 3. Services include counseling, networking and referral, workshops, andsupport/discussion groups as well as sponsorship of educational programssuch as those offered in connection with Women’s History month in March.The Center also works with external outreach agencies in the community.The Women’s Center library has books, tapes, and pamphlets on diversetopics such as food pantries, NAMI of Lake County (Mental Illnesses andBrain Disorders), emergency shelters, HealthReach for the medicallyunderserved, LaCasa, Planned Parenthood, and more. Pamphlets are free,and other materials can be checked out from the library.Aguinaldo says the service that is used most often is the Emergency FinancialFund.“The majority of students that we serve are low income,” she said. “Whenyou’re a student and a single mother and you have 3 or 4 children to raiseand support, it just comes with the territory.”Resources are an ongoing struggle as the number of students needing thisservice continues to grow. The Emergency Fund exists solely from thegenerosity of donations. There is no budget from the college for the fund.According to Aguinaldo, a few people donate regularly, which makes a bigdifference.“But when money is given out, then its gone until someone else makes adonation,” she said. Over the years money has been provided to assist withtuition or books, limited passes for the Pace bus system and childcare.Other Women’s Center services are supported by the college and grantMore
  4. 4. money, but are used by only a small percentage of students. The 2006-2007Annual Report on the Women’s Center shows approximately 400 studentswere assisted via phone, e-mail, as drop-ins or by appointment.Although the number of clients is small, Women’s Center services can bemeaningful to those who seek help.Aguinaldo spoke of one former student who came to visit her a few weeksago. The woman is a nurse now but was having problems as a student andwas married to an abusive man. The Women’s Center provided support inher time of need.The former student looked good, but it was a surprise to see that she hadshort blonde hair instead of the very long hair that Aguinaldo remembered.The woman explained that she had on a wig, because in the two years sinceshe graduated she had developed breast cancer and undergonechemotherapy.She was also working her full time job and taking care of her children whilegoing through a difficult divorce. She is in remission now. But to Aguinaldo,the wonderful thing was that she came in with a big smile on her face, proudof what she had accomplished, and having a great attitude.Aguinaldo said that transformation was not due entirely to the Women’sCenter, but it was great to see how well a former client was doing in her newlife, and possibly benefiting from the help of the Women’s Center.Aguinaldo’s family has been very supportive of her work with the Center, butshe said that her biggest mentor and partner in running the Women’s Centerfor the past 6 years has been Brian Smith.More
  5. 5. Smith has taught a class on feminist philosophy and is on the Women’sCenter advisory board. He is also a regular donator/supporter.Information about the Women’s Center, as well as other student services inthe B210 area, is provided to students during student orientation.Students can also learn about the Women’s Center at the CLC web site onpages designated for community programs, counseling and student services,or can stop by the Center located in B210.Aguinaldo suggested that the best training for students who are interested inworking in the field of women’s issues is to get involved in community orschool activities that center on these concerns.Approximately 35 students volunteered last year.Students can learn more about the issues and can advocate for thoseneeding help, while gaining experience towards their career.Most importantly Aguinaldo said is that the Women’s Center is a safe placefor those who are struggling to find themselves.“When you’re a new college student and then have all this baggage comingin to the college and trying to get an education, no place seems safe to you,”she says. “It all seems scary and new.“So that idea of a safe place is what we want students to understand.”Students who want to contact the Women’s Center may do so by calling(847) 543-2771.More
  6. 6. To donate to the Emergency Financial Fund, please make your check payableto CLC Women’s Center, and mail to: CLC Women’s Center 19351 W. Washington St. Grayslake, IL 60030 ###