WJI Alumni Profile: Tessa Schweiget
Mar 16, 2017
Tessa Schweigert, Northwest College
WJI Class of 2005
Profile by: Sarah Wedel
Tessa Schweigert Baker spent most of her growing up years in Powell, Wyoming a small town a couple of hours east of the famous Yellowstone National Park. Tessa’s small town childhood provided her with a strong sense of community. After graduating from high school, she earned her associates degree in journalism from Northwest College in Powell.
Tessa always enjoyed writing. She enjoyed the aspect of reporting because the story already exists. She said reporters just have to find the story and put the pieces together. She decided in Middle School that she wanted to be a journalist.
In 2005, between school years at Northwest College, Tessa attended the World Journalism Institute. Tessa found out about WJI through a friend whose parents read World Magazine and saw the advertisement in the magazine.
When Tessa attended, WJI took place in New York City on a floor of the Empire State Building where King’s College is currently located.
“Going from small town to New York City to the Empire State Building was pretty amazing,” she said. “I was star struck.”
Tessa said the course was challenging because it wasn’t just sitting and listening to lecture. It was hands on work. She learned valuable reporting skills as well as confidence in navigating a new city while working on stories. She said the caliber of speakers and teachers at WJI taught her not only how to be a great journalist but how to incorporate her faith into her work.
“WJI was an encouragement to me to be around other journalists of faith and to hear stories from journalists who had done (journalism) for 20 to 40 years,” she said. “It was inspiring to hear their struggles and how they persevered through.”
After WJI Tessa headed back West and earned her bachelor’s in journalism from Boise State in Idaho. Upon graduation, Tessa joined YWAM and lived in Darby, England for six months working there with the ministry. In 2008, she moved back to Powell only intending to stay until she found a job somewhere else. Instead the local Powell Tribune newspaper called and offered her a job, which turned out pretty well for her. She met her husband at the newspaper, and they married in 2014.
Today, Tessa works as the features editor of the Powell Tribune. Daily, Tessa incorporates into her work what she learned from WJI about what it means to be a truth telling, servant journalist. She said, as a community journalist she desires to love and serve her community through providing the news and stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told.
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