Joycelyn Cabrera's was on the job at InMaricopa Friday for the last time as she intends to spend the summer preparing to move to Washington, D.C., for fall semester.
Raquel Hendrickson

Joycelyn Cabrera is moving up, and we couldn’t be prouder.

After serving as our high school intern during her last year at Maricopa High School and later as a part-time reporter for InMaricopa as an Arizona State University journalism student, she has been accepted into ASU’s Cronkite News D.C. Bureau for the fall semester.

“I don’t know what my job is going to be yet. It’s going to be a tossup between a reporter or a producer, but both of those things are behind the camera,” she said.

It’s not a paid program. Aside from the airline tickets, journalism students at the bureau pay their own way in one of the most expensive places to live in the country. She is tracking down leads on housing as she prepares for her new adventure right in the middle of a presidential election in the biggest boiling pot of politics one can find.

To qualify for the program, she had to take required classes, including a course with a publication requirement. That is how she came back to us last year as ASU professors were training her up to be a news hound. There were also seemingly off-beat courses, requiring analytics, that not many journalism students were taking “because it wasn’t something they were going to minor in.”

Her last day with us, at least for a while was Friday, as she intends to spend the summer preparing.

Through her class assignments and her work with InMaricopa, she compiled a resume and portfolio that put her on a solid foundation to work in the D.C. Bureau. She’s had to do the grunt work shadowing our reporters and videographers, thankless newsroom tasks and uncomfortable on-camera work, learning how to be a pro. It’s been fun to watch.

“I don’t plan to be on camera,” she said, remembering one InMaricopa assignment that took 20 takes to get right. “I’m not a broadcast major, but they have been known to be like, ‘Hey, you, reporter, you wrote that story? Great. Our anchor’s gone. You’re up.’ They did tell us to be ready for doing that.”

Joycelyn will be in D.C. from late August to early December. Many of the college reporters are antsy because of the ongoing pandemic and not knowing when COVID-19 might really be cleared. ASU is set to return to in-person classes for fall semester.

She is also a professed Arizona desert girl, who has never been to the East and never flown on a plane, so that has its own sense of excitement. She hopes to have enough time to arrive early and get acclimated before jumping into work.

“I’m so scared,” she said, albeit smiling. “My boyfriend has traveled to the East Coast a lot, and he was like, ‘You’re going to have to go shopping. It’s going to be cold. And I said, ‘Oh, have my little, black, fuzzy sweater. I’m good.’ And he laughed at me.”

Congratulations, Joycelyn Cabrera, on your new adventure. We’ll be pulling for you.



Raquel Hendrickson is editor of InMaricopa.

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