By Sophia Walck

The Osprey Observer’s annual internship program welcomes several new interns each summer, many of whom pursue journalism even after the internship. Let’s take a look at where a few of them are now.

Sofia Celis

Celis took part in the internship in 2022. Graduating high school with her Associates in Arts degree, Celis is attending Hillsborough Community College with plans to transfer to the University of South Florida.

“I am very grateful for having this internship last year since it did get me all my community service hours and was very beneficial. I plan on hopefully doing another internship for communications,” said Celis.

Breanna Maye

Maye is currently a stay-at-home mom who has three daughters with her husband. Her internship with Osprey fueled her initiative at the University of Florida to be a part of the journalism program there.

“I got to study under some incredible journalists and had the opportunity to grow my writing even more and be published in some cool publications,” said Maye.

After graduation, Maye also interned at The Ledger in Lakeland, where she was able to report her own stories and help with formatting the newspaper.

Madeline Gardner

Gardner was an intern during 2022 and currently attends the University of Florida, majoring in English. Gardner continues to be a freelance writer for the Osprey.

“Whether it is discussing the selfless deeds of community members or capturing the excitement surrounding upcoming drives and area events, writing for this publication reminds me of how much good triumphs in our local community and how imperative it is that we take the time to recognize it. I am verily grateful for every interview I have been fortunate enough to take,” said Gardner.

Sydney Burken

Burken recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a major in political science and a minor in mass communications. She is pursuing a job in marketing and sales in the Tampa area. Burken says that this internship pushed her out of her comfort zone into a more realistic world in college and academics where she had to rely on the clients’ schedules rather than her own.

“With this journalism internship, I learned a lot about the small businesses around Valrico, Brandon, Apollo Beach and more. I loved being able to promote these lesser-known businesses and help bring in new clientele for them. My favorite byline I wrote will always be about Flip Flops & Fitness, a gymnastics center run by the most generous man located off of 41 in Apollo Beach. His stories and the conversations we had were the highlight of my internship,” Burken said.

Jasmine Haroun

Haroun was an intern in 2019 and then was a freelance writer for the Osprey Observer until late 2020. She is grateful for her internship experience because it helped develop her writing style and skills as well as form connections with the community. Haroun is a second-year honors student at the University of South Florida studying biomedical sciences.

Haroun said, “I’ve always loved how the Osprey Observer focused on the positives within the community, and being a part of that was something special. I loved every moment of it — the people, the stories, the mentorship.”

Halie LeSavage

LeSavage took part in the Osprey’s internship nine years ago and has done nothing short of flourish in her career since then. Currently the fashion commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, LeSavage leads the magazine’s fashion trends and overall shopping coverage online. LeSavage has traveled with her job to places such as Copenhagen, Denmark to San Francisco, California, “reporting on a wide range of topics within the world of luxury fashion.”

LeSavage reflected on her time at Osprey by saying, “Interning at the Osprey Observer reinforced all the fundamentals of writing and editing that I use every day at work. And it was the job where I had my first story in print — something I’ll never forget!”

Arianna Hooker

Hooker, a 2022 intern, is now a rising senior at Newsome High School and is the online editor-in-chief and business manager of the Wolf Tracks school newspaper. Hooker plans to major in journalism and business, hoping to one day have a Christ-based news company. This internship provided a sense of community to Hooker and helped her hone her writing skills.

“The Osprey Observer internship got me to where I am today by allowing me to learn the importance of having vast community connections and getting involved in one’s neighborhood,” said Hooker.

Ariana Pedraza

Pedraza took part in the Osprey internship two summers ago and is now a senior at Newsome High School. Pedraza hopes to study international studies before going into law school. Other than writing, Pedraza spends her time involved in her school’s orchestra and band programs, where she’s a drum major for marching band. Her favorite part about this internship was having the opportunity to write about the Newsome Marching Band when the band remained successful despite changes in directors.

Reflecting on the internship, Pedraza remarked, “I have learned and continue to learn so much about journalism and interacting with others and have been able to meet so many incredible people and learn their stories through this newspaper.”

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