Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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My life before The Prospector is a blur. That may sound like an exaggeration, but before I walked into 105 Union Building East five years ago, the thought of my future resembled something like a Picasso painting—the shapes, lines and hues coming together to form an abstract idea of something real. It was a Sunday when I first walked into the office. I found a team of reporters working on the upcoming Tuesday’s issue.

The editor-in-chief, Aaron Martinez, gave me a strange look, as if wondering who would possibly be okay with coming in to work on a Sunday. Years later, he confessed that I annoyed him at first, “not because I didn’t like you,” he said. “You were just so shy, but full of potential, and I was annoyed that you didn’t realize that.”

That’s one of the best things about working at The Prospector. Nearly every student I’ve worked with has been professional and has taken their job very seriously, all the while supporting and encouraging the rest of the staff.

We’re competitive, but we lift each other up and learn from each other. The Prospector prepared me for everything that’s coming next. I’ll be graduating on May 14, and then will be moving to Washington, D.C. for an internship at The New York Times covering politics for the Washington Bureau.

Who knows what I’ll be up to after the internship, but I’m not at all scared to handle it thanks to The Prospector. I’m lucky enough to work with some of El Paso’s most talented writers, photographers and designers, and I’m sad to be saying goodbye to everyone.

Kathy Flores, our director who has become like family to me, thank you for everything you’ve taught me and for being so patient through the learning process every student reporter goes through. All of the other editors on staff, Amanda, Michaela, Jose, Jacobo, Adrian (who came up with this column’s headline) and Andres, you all have become my best friends.

I have never had a boring day at work with any of you, and I expect that we will all continue to be in each other’s lives—especially considering that some of you have made me promise to hire you one day. Inside 105 Union Building East is where I spent the majority of my time at UTEP.

It’s where I came out of my shell, grew as a reporter, writer and even as an artist. It’s where I gained the confidence to say what is on my mind without hesitation, where I learned to be a leader, and mostly, where I learned that I have what it takes to compete in the cutthroat world of media. I’m going to miss this place, but I’m very excited for what comes next.

That Picasso painting is starting to look more like an M.C. Escher, it appears real, yet is completely surreal.

Jasmine Aguilera may NOT be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jasmine Aguilera
Jasmine Aguilera, Editor-in-chief
Jasmine is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in anthropology. She began practicing journalism as a high school student when she joined the Tejano Tribune, El Paso Community College’s student newspaper. During her senior year she became the first ever high school student to become editor-in-chief of the Tribune. She moved on to join The Prospector team in the fall of 2011. Jasmine has covered national politics, immigration, poverty, human trafficking, refugees and more in her time holding various editorial positions at The Prospector and as an intern reporter at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire and Gannett News Service, both in Washington, D.C. She aspires to become an international reporter and tell stories that do not receive the attention they deserve. Until then, she spends her time following the news and guiding a very talented team in reporting for a student audience and the El Paso community. She also enjoys a good book, art, music and the occasional Netflix binge (House of Cards and Breaking Bad remain her favorite).
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