Community

Record welcomes new intern

Samantha O
Samantha O'Brochta, a journalism student at Western Washington University, is an intern reporter at the South Whidbey Record this summer.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

Fresh from her first year of journalism school, Samantha O’Brochta has joined the staff of the Record as an intern reporter for the Island Life pages and various community-oriented stories.

O’Brochta, 19, is a journalism major at Western Washington University in Bellingham, who is also no stranger to the theater department. She graduated from Whidbey Island Academy in 2009.

Her choice to become a journalism major came out of an early love of writing.

“I’ve always liked writing and was always coming up with book ideas in school,” O’Brochta said.

“Also, I’ve grown up reading Seventeen Magazine, and have always wanted to write for that.”

O’Brochta, who is a talented singer, almost signed on as a music major and had auditions set for two of the schools to which she applied.

“At the last minute, I decided my job prospects in music would be only as a teacher, and I don’t want to teach,” she said.

In the end, she’s satisfied her need to sing through the university’s expansive theater department, which produces about 10 shows per semester. She will also take on the management of a fledgling glee club next semester.

Readers may have seen O’Brochta onstage at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts or at Whidbey Children’s Theater throughout the six years she honed her performance skills in Langley. Starting in about the seventh grade, she committed to do about three shows per year. She said her favorite role was as “Ruth” in WCT’s 2006 production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Although O’Brochta has finished only three quarters at WWU, on paper she is actually in her junior year because of the head start she gained through the Running Start program.

Having finished many of her prerequisites for her freshman year, O’Brochta was able to take classes open only to sophomore and junior students in her first year, such as newswriting, reporting, photo journalism and the college newspaper course.

Next quarter, O’Brochta was hired as a staff photographer for the Western Front, a job for which she had to apply and for which she will get college credit. Doing this summer’s internship at the Record, she said, is a boon to what she will be able to do next year at school.

“I want the experience of working in the field for a larger newspaper,” O’Brochta said.

O’Brochta is a Freeland resident and the daughter of Frank and Linda O’Brochta, and sister to Tyler, 14, and Faith, 12.

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