Hi, my name is Steven Stolley and I am a Kutztown University senior majoring in professional writing. I am the summer 2014 intern for Berks-Mont Newspapers. As part of this assignment, I will perform a broad range of duties for the editors of these weekly newspapers, including feature and column writing, typing, editing, photography, videography and content entry. Since you will be reading some of my work, I’d just like to provide a little bit of background information about myself.
I was born and raised in Delaware County, just miles from the state border. My mother is a public school teacher and my father works in the health care industry. When I graduated from Garnet Valley High School in 2010, I already knew that my vocation was that of a writer.
I applied to a few similar PASSHE schools – Kutztown, Bloomsburg and Millersville – which met my requirements for a higher education institute. I wanted to go somewhere far from home, but not too far so I could still see my family with some regularity. I wanted to go to a school with a large, active student body – but not too large. Most of all, I wanted to go to a university where I could advance my writing career while meeting like-minded individuals.
After four years at Kutztown, it is apparent to me that I found what I was searching for. It seems strange, but the last school I visited on a whirlwind tour of the aforementioned PASSHE schools ended up as my higher education home away from home.
On the day I first laid eyes on Berks County (and Kutztown’s campus) I was almost blown away. By the wind. My Dad and I skeptically surveyed the sprawling campus with the bell tower which looks like a robot chicken skeptically surveying us from above. It was fall and campus looked pretty barren. And like I said, Kutztown’s campus can be a real wind tunnel at times. But something stuck out to me about Kutztown and Berks County that hadn’t at the other scholastic institutions. I love nature, and Bloomsburg’s sprawling campus, nestled among the mountains, held a strong aesthetic appeal for me. Millersville’s tree-studded campus was also lovely. At Kutztown, though, the people stuck out most. Everybody was so accessible, friendly and helpful that once I spent an hour or so walking around, I had made my decision. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when the summer rolled around and the campus itself sprang to life, belying the barrenness I had originally observed!
I’ve lived in Berks County for 75 percent of the year for the past four years and at this point, it is my home. Working as a journalist, here is my opportunity to give back to the community that welcomed me with open arms, and I intend to take advantage of it. So please, feel free to contact me with any stories you think need to be told, any events or trends that help illustrate the tranquility and complexity of this area which many might see as simple farmland. I fell in love with the rolling hills and open fields of Berks County and I think everybody should get the opportunity to see it for the lively, engaging community that it is.
Steven Stolley is an intern for Berks-Mont Newspapers.