Column: Cota will report as she learns
The Republican Eagle has a high school intern again this year. Mikayla Cota of Red Wing will spend 10 weeks learning about the news business. Readers may have noticed her byline on several stories already.
Cota, who will be a senior in the fall, has served on the school's Aerie staff for three years. She's concentrated on writing, but hopes to improve her photojournalism skills this summer.
"If I could be a double threat, that would be good," she says.
Her assignments will include features, an occasional sports story as well as the question-and-answer columns we call We Asked, They Answered.
"I would like to figure out if journalism could be a major I could pursue," Cota said. She is considering several Midwest colleges.
In addition to Aerie, she's involved in community and school theater productions, is the speech team captain, teaches at ProAct, sings in Ovation, volunteers at her church and works at the Red Wing Family YMCA.
She's on the news team courtesy of the Pohlad Family Foundation Summer Youth Employment Program. The Pohlads, who own the Minnesota Twins among other enterprises, started the program in 2004 by offering teens experience in the banking industry. The program extended to newspapers and printers eight years ago. Employers and the foundation both contribute toward student wages.
The Republican Eagle has had several summer interns over the years, including Stacy Bengs, who works for us now and also shoots photographs for the Associated Press and Minnesota Lynx. Ryan Hill was both a Pohlad and college intern; he attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison's journalism program.
Who knows, maybe Cota will follow a similar path. Regardless, we hope she'll have a better understanding and appreciation for both journalism and her community by summer's end.