Journalism A Passion For Roundup Intern

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In addition to "spitfire," "confident" and "determined," one of the words Wendy Manwarren uses to describe herself is "workaholic."

Granted, that's not an unusual admission for a female in the 21st century. But it is unique for newspaper interns a painfully young and well-meaning breed that often shows up in editorial offices without much sense of self, the world, regular employment or the wonders of computer spell-checkers.

Manwarren, 21, started her Roundup internship July 3, and has since made easy reporting work out of a myriad of difficult topics from teen pregnancy to the reorganization of the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation.

She eats lunch at her desk. She doesn't leave until the job is done. And when the job is done ... well, here's an assessment of Manwarren's creative output from Roundup Editor Katy Whitehouse:

"Wendy brings a passion for people and ideas to her work that sets her apart from many young journalists, and she has demonstrated the kind of devotion to storytelling and accuracy that the profession needs."

Manwarren, a native of Mesa, will end her internship at the end of August to begin her senior year at Arizona State University majoring in journalism, minoring in marketing.

She'll also continue as the president of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, while running orientation activities for new and prospective students.

Her plan beyond ASU is to attend graduate school and earn a master's in journalism. But Manwarren's ultimate goal isn't writing for newspapers.

"Don't get me wrong, I love newspapers," she said. "But I consider myself a magazine-style feature writer, and my absolute favorite subject is people.

Everyone is so unique that they never fail to add to my own life even if it's a gift as simple as reminding me to appreciate what I already have."

And don't get her wrong, she loves Payson. But she really hopes to land that magazine job in New York City.

"New York has it all," Manwarren said. "And I'm a huge fan of plays and musicals. They're my favorite big-spending activity."

Twenty-one-year-olds are not famous for having organized, planned-out lives. But Manwarren has been on that track for as long as she can remember.

"As a child, my pretend worlds always mirrored reality," she said. "If I played store, I would literally spend the entire day on that activity. I went to 'work' when my parents did, and stopped when they got home."

Minding the store wasn't her only youthful pursuit. She took dance classes for 12 years. She acted in theatrical plays from childhood through high school (including "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"). She's even directed for the stage ("Steel Magnolias," "12 Angry Men").

Writing became Manwarren's passion thanks to the influence of a "wonderful" high school English teacher and her own father, who lost a battle with prostate cancer just two years ago.

"My Dad always followed his heart," she said. "When I was in the eighth grade, he created his own business out of nothing but a dream. He loved old and out-of-print books, so he made them his business. He taught me to always love what I do, too."

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