Dreams Come True


Nathanial Brown, Lead Layout Designer

I have always loved writing things for English class, but I was never a person to sit down and write something just for fun. Until, one day Ms. Laura Askue, an English Teacher at Brunswick Early College approached me asking if I could write something for the Journalism club. I had heard of the club, and I thought I knew what they did, but I didn’t.


I agreed and wrote my first ever article in the November edition of the Teen Scene. For several months I wrote articles for the paper and loved it more than anything.


One day I walked into the Journalism Club meeting for the week and Gerald Decker and Jan Morgan-Swegle approached me and told me that they wanted me to design the Teen Scene section of the new website, because of my technical and design knowledge. This opportunity was very exciting for me as digital design was something that I have always had a passion for and in the past 2-3 years I have taken learning advanced design very seriously, so I took them up on the offer.


Then, on a random day in June after just a month of working on the website, I got a phone call from Gerald Decker asking me to create a sample page layout using the previous month’s articles because he wanted me to take over as the Lead Layout Designer for the paper.


As you can imagine I was ecstatic at the thought that my first ever job just might be something that I want to do. Most of the people I go to school with are working at fast food restaurants or retail stores and I am going to be working for a newspaper. By the next morning, I had already created a 6-page sample layout. By the end of the week, I had created at least 5 different 12-page layouts. Both Jan and Gerald loved my work.


On June 12, I opened my email to a message. “Nathanial, We at Teen Scene, Inc. are happy to offer you the position of Layout Editor…”. It was official, I was going to have my first job, working for amazing people that understand my busy schedule. It was everything I could have asked for.

I spent the third week of June designing my first edition of the paper, and that didn’t come without challenges (and 9 drafts). But on June 26th, I submitted my first edition of the paper.


I waited not so patiently for the paper to come out and then I drug my mom to Piggly Wiggly and grabbed the paper. My first reaction was excitement, I was jumping up and down in the parking lot. The joy I felt knowing that I made what is in the newspaper stand on my computer is a feeling that I can’t explain.


I spent years saying that one day I would write a book, but I had just given up on the idea that my dream would come true because I had a major case of imposter syndrome. In July, I started writing my first book and it’s set to come out sometime next year.


Nine months ago, when I was presented with an offer to join the journalism club by Ms. Askue, I was skeptical, but I couldn’t be gladder that I did, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Today, I am designing the entire paper by myself, and I am in the process of writing my book, which is the number one thing I wanted to do in life.


So, at 15 I am living the best possible life that I can imagine. Thank you to Jan, Gerald, and everyone who has made this dream of mine come true!