As a child, Sabrina Escobar Miranda, ’19, wanted to write fantasy stories. But when she realized that real life can be even more interesting than fiction, she knew that she would be a journalist. Over the summer, Escobar Miranda authored more than 30 bylined stories during her Jepson Internship at the New York-based newspaper Newsday, and even had a story picked up by the Associated Press.

“The first time I saw my byline in print, I was just super all over the place,” Escobar Miranda says.

A native of El Salvador, Escobar Miranda was drawn to the University of Richmond because of her interest in journalism. But when she enrolled in leadership studies professor Don Forsyth’s Leadership in the Social Sciences class, she discovered that leadership studies could make her an even more versatile journalist.

“I’m able to analyze an event from different points of view, or analyze the coverage of something with less bias than other people,” says Escobar Miranda, who also writes for the University of Richmond student publication Forum Magazine. “Since leadership studies are so holistic, I feel like I have a basic understanding of most of the topics discussed in the newsroom because I’ve discussed it in any one of my leadership classes at one point or another.”

Journalism professor Mike Spear encouraged Escobar Miranda to apply for an internship at Newsday, a news organization that focuses on local profiles and stories. During her internship, Escobar Miranda covered stories across a broad spectrum, from town initiatives to promote businesses going green to reporting on the Families Belong Together rallies to covering town events and marathons. Her story that was picked up by the Associated Press reported on a controversy surrounding goose droppings.

Escobar Miranda notes that people want to be heard and still view news media as a way to tell their story. She says that the story she enjoyed working on most at Newsday was a profile of a Holocaust survivor who was getting a heart transplant.

“It was so amazing to meet this 95-year-old man who had literally survived one of the darkest moments in history, and he was still full of life and has such a strong will to make it to his 100th birthday,” Escobar Miranda remembers. “He is a living, breathing part of history and I was just so honored that I could meet him and share part of his story with the rest of the world.”

Escobar Miranda says that her education gave her an edge at Newsday, even over interns already in graduate journalism programs. She hopes that after graduation it will help her land a job covering international news or immigration policy at a major American news organization.