Victoria Ivie/Courier A self portrait taken in Monrovia on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
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It was time for the proposal. Everyone gathered around and the long-awaited moment finally came. He looked into her eyes, dropped down on one knee and said the four magic words: “Will you marry me?” Then—snap! Photojournalist Victoria Ivie captured the perfect moment when her cousin proposed to his current wife.

It is like second nature for Ivie to always have a camera around, ready to shoot. She has always been into photography and everyone around her knows it too.

“When he dropped down on one knee to propose, it was not even weird at all that I had my camera,” said Ivie. “I always bring it around, like even just [for] Easter … I just love to take pictures.”

Aside from photography, Ivie also loves writing. So with both writing and photography together, Ivie decided that photojournalism was the right major for her.

However, that was not her career choice when she first attended PCC. She was originally a nursing student for a year because with it, she would make a lot of money.

Since she had mostly chosen that major for the financial aspect, Ivie was not happy when she studied nursing. She was also doing horribly in her classes.

“The first year that I was at PCC, I basically might as well have not been,” said Ivie. 

Ivie then took a year off from school after completing two semesters due to her stepdad’s passing, then returned a year later as a photojournalism major.

Ivie’s decision to switch to photojournalism was partly influenced by her stepdad’s advice.

“He was really big into photography as well,” said Ivie. “I guess we always talked about me following what I actually loved, so that was like an inspiration to just follow that route.”

Ivie’s reason for not considering to pursue photography, writing or journalism initially was because they are not known for making the most money at first, at least not until you have established yourself in those fields, and she was worried about not being able to sustain herself following that route.

However, she was then reminded of her stepdad, who managed to make good money as a professional photographer. She also remembered her high school teachers, who gave her positive feedback about her writing and encouraged her to pursue a career related to that field. 

“The second I switched my major to photojournalism, I immediately [had] way better grades and was more interested in school and stuff.”

Her goal as a journalist is to cover more stories on diversity. When she was the features editor for the Courier, she would always try to look for stories that highlighted the theme of LGBTQ representation or events related to Ujima and Latinx.

“I feel like there’s a lot of those stories missing, and that can be easy to miss,” said Ivie.

As someone who identifies as bisexual, Ivie has always been interested in LGBTQ rights, which only grows as she becomes more informed on the topic. She is also interested in writing about issues related to immigrants, since her grandfather came to the United States as an immigrant from Ecuador.

“I guess those are some issues that are always in the back of my head and it should be written about more,” said Ivie.

Her piece about the indigenous culture that she wrote as a staff writer was used as a learning tool in her English 1C class, which focused on Chicano/Indigenous history. Students were asked to examine her article for their essay assignment.

What sparked her interest in covering that story was purely her curiosity in wanting to learn more about the culture, and also because she thought that it was a story that needed to be covered. 

“That was really crazy for me,” said Ivie. “That gave me the first sense of like, ‘okay, I am in the field I should be,’ sort of thing. It’s really cool to see your writing be used as a piece or tool of learning.”

Fast forward to today, Ivie is now the editor-in-chief for the Courier. A lot of Ivie’s journey and achievement from writing to being the editor-in-chief has been a natural progression for her. 

After her piece about the indigenous culture, she was asked to be an assistant features editor by her former features editor. She then became the features editor for the Courier the following semester. 

During that time, she was already performing a lot of the editor-in-chief duties by her own initiative, such as fixing the website, pitching stories and making sure writers submit stories on time. She was always in the newsroom, so naturally, people would come up to her for questions, whether they were writers, other editors or photographers.

“I’m sort of a control freak!” said Ivie. “I think I just have natural leadership or something, or people just saw me so often that they just come up to me.”

When Ivie first decided to join the Courier, it was merely to learn how to be a journalist. She did not have specific goals set in her mind, such as becoming a features editor or editor-in-chief. All she did was simply doing her best as a journalist and grasping the opportunities presented to her.

“You know it’s uncomfortable to learn new things and sort of put yourself out there, but it’s worked out so far!” Ivie said.

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