Lelah Byron is a talented and focused journalist and uses her voice to attack the root causes of injustice. Lelah’s particular gifts and passions led her to journalism as her form of activism, catalyzing public discussion and contributing to structural change. In her role as an Investigative Reporter for the Marquette Tribune, she has covered such topics as healthcare access in the transgender community, human trafficking, and financial struggles of low-income students. In 2019, she received the honor of Reporter of the Year from the Marquette Wire. Lelah also serves as a Program Assistant in the Center for Community Service, supporting community-engaged campus programming and volunteerism. Lelah is a sophomore at Marquette University, majoring in Journalism. In true Ignatian fashion, she is already setting the world on fire.
With my experience both in activist circles and my student-led media organization, I aim
to enter the workforce as an emboldened truthseeker and lifelong learner. At Marquette
University, I am granted the edifying opportunity to learn from my activist predecessors. My
peers in journalism, my professors, and my supervisors at the Center for Community Service continually offer their expertise. From them, I have learned that activism requires dutiful listening and conscientious strategizing. Extraordinary activism— and extraordinary journalism— not only catalyzes public discussion, but it also culminates in positive, systemic change. I am confident that, as it emphasizes advocacy and anti-elitism, journalism is the perfect academic pursuit. As a journalist, I have an obligation to travel beyond the homogeneous ivory tower. Similarly, I plan to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. With this goal in mind, I prioritize narrative-driven, accessible storytelling. Narrative-based journalism targets the root causes of injustice through an individualized lens; this approach humanizes abstract social issues, thus bridging academic theory with lived experience. Marquette develops the critical framework, the professional connections, and the career readiness. The final step, to set the world on fire, is up to me.