Story written by Samantha Edwards, volunteer writer
Emily Barske is from Marshalltown and graduated from Marshalltown High School in 2014.
She currently works as news editor of the Marshalltown Times-Republican. She explains that while she was in high school, she often took dual credits when possible. The credits would count for both the high school and Marshalltown Community College credit. At MCC, she completed a broadcasting academy there. “Journalism has always been of interest to me,” Barske said.
Emily continues to explain that although she was not sure specifically what she wanted to do, she wanted to be involved with journalism because she says that “she loves writing and kind of everything that has to do with it.”
“So, I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue for my bachelor’s degree, and when I went to Iowa State, I got two degrees in journalism and marketing, just because, again, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do,” Barske said. “While I was at Iowa State, I was involved with the student paper there for all four years, and that really showed me that I love newspapers.”
Even though her passion for writing for newspapers came while in college, she says writing in general has been the “game plan” since around second grade; and the idea of journalism has been an awareness since middle school. She said taking advantages of opportunities at MHS was big for her as well.
“I think the two biggest things, in terms of helping with the career, is that there are so many opportunities to be involved (at MHS). And maybe that’s dual credits, maybe that’s in a club or organization,” she said.
Emily was also a swimmer and involved in National History Day.
She mentions that getting certain experiences helped to get scholarships and realize what she wanted to do as far as her occupation. “The second thing that really benefited me was just the diversity of the school, both in racial and ethical diversity, but also there’s a lot of people from different social classes in Marshalltown,” Barske said. “And I think being able to see people that are different from you growing up, was really important to me and kind of helped shaped some of my life views and some of the work I wanted to do.”
She says that being around that diversity has helped her job at the Times-Republican newspaper because it gives “an appreciation for the fact that people’s lives aren’t exactly how your life is.”
Emily says being involved in the Extended Learning Program at MHS was “really a big deal and fun for me because it was learning that was really structured around the things that I wanted to experience, at the pace that I wanted to experience them. So, I think that was probably the most memorable to me,” she said.
Emily also stressed importance of self-confidence for students. “Even at Iowa State, when I was a mentor for freshman, there’s a lot of people that think: ‘oh well I can’t do that.’ ‘Someone did this big thing, but I can’t do that.’ You have to believe in yourself, and you have to be involved, and try different things. That starts with believing in yourself and knowing that it’s not just random people that can do big things; you can too.”
– Volunteer writer Samantha Edwards is a 2006 graduate of Marshalltown High School.