© St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 2002
Why should you apply to be on the St. Petersburg Times X-Team?
Let some members of the 2001-2002 team tell you, then apply, using the coupon and instructions below (DON'T MISS THE DEADLINE -- June 10):
I definitely will be wiping those tears out of my eyes, as X-Team was everything but negative. Without X-Team I wouldn't have met the people I've met, nor felt the joy of seeing my first article in the paper and the rush I get when I see another. Also, on X-Team, I've met many great young writers, who have made it even a better year. I can tell they have the passion for writing, like I do. - Mimi Rich, 11
Being on this year's X-Team has affected me in many positive ways. I've noticed that my writing has improved dramatically, both in the newspaper and in English class. Being on the team has helped me gain a nose for journalism and writing, by meeting deadlines, doing interviews and writing on a wide range of topics.
The X-Team has also changed me, because I used to not care about writing those crucial essays in class, and now I can't wait to tackle another one! - Jerrod Douse, 15
My (first) story was on a group of Muslim kids (after Sept. 11). It changed my view forever. -- Sam French, 10
The X-Team has affected me tremendously, because I have become a better writer overall. I think (having) the different age groups helped, because they had a lot of insight, too. - Tashyra Feazell, 13
Working on the X-Team made me realize that there is more than one way to write, and it helped me with my fiction, but it also made me realize that reporting isn't something that I could ever make a career. So even though it didn't change my life, it helped me to decide what I can make of it when I grow older. - Maddie Hightower, 15
Planning, interviewing and organizational skills and talent are all things a person needs to become an X-Team writer. These things I had to learn to do. . . . It took a lot of work and time, but in the end it was worth it, and one of my best experiences. I got to write about all of my favorite things. . . . My language arts teacher got to read every article I had in the paper. I remember that every time I gave her an article her face would light up with joy. -- Allison Holder, 13
Being a member of the X-Team is the opportunity of a lifetime because it is like an internship, but at a younger age than a person would usually have one. The X-Team experience gave me some more insight into what life would be like if I chose to venture down the career path of journalism. I also enjoyed exchanging ideas and learning about how to write better. -- Mandi-Lou Schantz Feld, 15
Most college freshman have no idea what they are going to study when they begin school and often switch their majors many times. I cannot say what the future will hold, but my experience as an X-Team member definitely has given me some insight. Journalism does not mean the glamorous life of Barbara Walters or the frivolous style of Will Tippin from ABC's Alias. No, it means taking risks -- making some people mad, and making others talk. But it also means gathering the facts, crafting the English language to deliver your story, your gift to the world. Crazy as it seems, that is what I want to do with my life, and serving my term for Xpress has given me the chance to see journalism in its full sense, alive and working. - Autumn Siegel, 13