Sydney Ritter

Journalism Student Finds Her Passion at MCC

Writing has always been a passion for Mesa Community College student Sydney Ritter. At a young age, Ritter, 19, had a pencil in her hand and was writing her own stories, even though she couldn’t spell most words. She grew up in a home where her father taught her that education was important and her mother pushed her to always do her best.

“I always wanted to write, but for years I didn’t know what I wanted to write about,” Ritter said. “I would write pages and pages of nonsense when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. It wasn’t until I got to MCC that I finally found where I wanted to focus my time and energy. I found my voice in speaking the truth.”

Ritter remembers her father watching the news every night and that should have been her first inclination of what she wanted to be in the future.

“I would be in the living room while my dad was watching something about a war going on or an upcoming election. I know my parents always stressed the importance of my education and I just hope that I have made them proud with what I have been able to accomplish.”

In addition to attending classes and completing assigned work to earn her degree, Ritter worked as a reporter and editor of the MesaCC Legend, a student run campus newspaper. This experience taught her general, practical and marketable skills in the news industry and lead to an internship with the college’s Office of Institutional Advancement.

“I appreciate and am so grateful for everything that the Journalism Department has done for me,” Ritter said. “I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I took my first news writing class, but professor Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez was patient with me and helped grow my interests and talents in the field. Everyone there helped me develop my skills and passion and has made me so excited to continue my education at a university.”

Ritter earned an Associate’s in Arts degree and an Arizona General Education Curriculum certificate from MCC after two years of hard work and many dedicated hours in the newsroom. She plans to transfer to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

“I was so afraid that college would swallow me whole when I left high school,” Ritter said. “But MCC has given me that first step into an actual adult life and experiences I wouldn’t have had anywhere else. Instead of being intimidated about my future, I feel prepared and ready for anything that ASU would send my way.”