Journalism pathway helps Hersey student discover her future


An interest in writing led Kayleigh Padar to take an introductory course in the journalism pathway as a freshman at John Hersey High School. 

Kayleigh continued taking courses in District 214’s Journalism and Broadcasting pathway and developed a passion for news and writing. Now a senior, Kayleigh has sharpened her writing and critical thinking skills and plans to pursue journalism in college.

“If I hadn’t been in this career pathway, I wouldn’t know what I want to do,” said Kayleigh. “I love learning new things and journalism gives me a reason to learn new things and cover things I wouldn’t normally get to go to.”

The Journalism and Broadcasting pathway is one of 44 in District 214’s Career Pathways program, which provides students with rigorous academic courses, access to early college credits and industry certifications, and personalized and career-specific learning experiences.

The goal is to help all District 214 students discover their futures so they can decide what they want – or do not want – to pursue after high school. Business management, IT, Culinary Arts, Law, Visual Arts and Aviation are just some of the pathways to choose from.

In addition to taking journalism pathway courses, Kayleigh has gained career-specific experiences that will carry her far.

For three years, she has been a part of the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Correspondent, serving as a news editor, editorial board member and now editor-in-chief. She has covered hard news, feature stories and events, and has learned how to design and layout newspapers using Adobe software such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Outside of school, she uses her writing skills to advise middle school students working on their school’s newspaper. She also works as a communications intern in District 214’s Community Engagement and Outreach Department, writing press releases that have been published in news outlets, including The Daily Herald.

Kayleigh credits these pathway courses and experiences for helping to develop her confidence and communication skills so she can tackle tough stories and interview people at ease.

District 214’s Career Pathways program not only gives students the academic skills to make them college and career ready but also instills grit, perseverance and resiliency so they can tackle and achieve their goals.

To learn more about District 214’s Career Pathways, speak to your student’s counselor and visit