Having to move to a suburban town like Roswell at the age of eight was like entering an undiscovered planet, especially when all I knew was Chinese culture and language. I had no idea how to read or write when I stepped into the classroom on my first day of second grade. The basic phrases of communication were erratic to me. Considering the language barrier of my past, it may seem inconceivable that this Roswell High School senior would be interning at a self-publishing company,  but it is, nevertheless, possible. However, it was the combination of my love of books, constant desire to write, and predetermination that led me to seek a learning experience from a publishing company such as Jera.

My love for writing came along in the fifth grade when I wrote a short story for my English teacher, Mrs. Turner. My class had one week to write at least six pages on anything we could think of. My attitude toward school up until then had never been assiduous; I was never galvanized. In truth, I was never confident in my ability to communicate effectively, either verbally or in writing. The fact that I had to write a story using words that I was still unexposed to seemed like a form of punishment, and my anxiety escalated within seconds. However, when I had to sit down and write about something, anything, it dawned on me that I, for once, could set the pace for how my characters and words turned out. I was in control of the language I was never able to grasp effectively. I remember staying up hours past my bedtime, secretly trying to finish up my story. For the first time ever in my educational history, I was motivated to finish something and see it to perfection.

I turned in my paper the following day. Before I knew it, my English teacher had summoned me into her empty classroom. Being a mischievous child, my first thought was that I was doomed. My educational adventure was over; I had been caught for one of the several scholastic crimes I had committed.

Despite my worries, my teacher had only called me into her class to praise my work. Although there were grammatical errors, my ability to convey a story was “precocious.” She told me to never stop writing and hoped to read more from me in the future. The feeling of pride and satisfaction I received from my hard work radiated throughout me. It was at that moment that I became intrigued with writing because it gave me a chance to tell a story and throw all my effort into something I enjoyed. Over time, it gave me more confidence to speak up in class and participate in conversations that were not in my native language.

When it came time to intern, I wanted to choose a place that I would love to work—where I could write and be exposed to new stories. I was also interested in publishing and thought that the best way to learn would be to intern at a place that would teach me how the process works. My tag counselor recommended Jera Publishing.

Upon my initial steps into Jera Publishing, I was hit with an immediate sense of ease. The environment was quiet, yet there was a sense of serenity and comfort coursing through the office. The interview went smooth, and I was introduced to the exceptionally friendly and talented team that make Jera Publishing the success it is. Now, I sit at my desk writing this article. A harmonious atmosphere surrounds me as I finish.

Natascha Merida-Perez
Natascha Merida-Perez

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