I got the letter junior year. Congratulations, it said. You've won the Ann Devroy Fellowship. And I remember standing there, my hands shaking, thinking: How will I ever prove I'm worthy of this? Well, here I am, seven years later, still trying.
What the Devroy award meant to me was a chance to learn more about a great journalist, to explore the power and impact of newspapers, to sit amid the energy and cluttered desks of a professional newsroom and understand what this business of digesting and sharing information was all about.
It got me hooked. I left for Washington with a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. I came back without a doubt in my mind. My time at my internship in Madison only reinforced it: Yeah, journalism was definitely for me.
In the time since, I've written hundreds of stories at three different newspapers, covering the big issues and the small ones, always looking for what's important, always trying to tell it in a way that matters. This journalism bug - what I picked up at the Spectator and what became inflamed in Washington and Madison - has stubbornly failed to respond to treatment. I sit at a cluttered desk in the Cincinnati Enquirer newsroom just loving this. But am I worthy yet of the Ann Devroy Fellowship? No way. Check back in another seven years.