Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

ACC Chronicle

Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

PBL Freshman Cornerstone Town Hall
Uncategorized
PBL Freshman Cornerstone Town Hall
Amna Abdelbagi, Staff Reporter • May 24, 2024

It's finally that time of the year, the Cornerstone Town Hall that everyone has been waiting for! After all the ninth graders' hard work, students...

Bites on the Pike: Lost Dog Café
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Lost Dog Café
Clara Golner and Ilana HofferMay 24, 2024

Within the first moments of walking inside, the smell of tasty Italian food fills your nose. You look around at the art on the walls, listen...

Bites on the Pike: Ididos Coffee
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Idido's Coffee
Amna Abdelbagi, Staff Reporter • May 20, 2024

Only five minutes away from ACC, Idido’s Coffee should definitely be on your next “to-go” list! Idido’s Coffee is a cafe designed for...

Bites on the Pike: Ryu Izakaya
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Ryu Izakaya
Clara Golner and Ilana HofferMay 20, 2024

Ryu Izakaya is a small restaurant camouflaged among the many on Columbia Pike, but it is truly a hidden gem. When you walk inside, you are immediately...

Street Advocate Club
Clubs & Extras
Street Advocate Club
Cody Finnegan, Clara Golner, and Bella WeslowMay 20, 2024

One of ACC’s newer clubs is the Street Advocates Student Coalition (SASC), started by junior Cody Finnegan. The SASC’s mission is “to bring...

Career Profile: Kristen Clark, Journalist

Life may seem linear to many, but it’s a curving road with twists and turns. This is true for Kristen Clark, the former Director of Community Engagement at Arlington Independent Media (AIM). She started as a theater major but decided that journalism was a better option since understanding the worlds of others was a passion. Kristen has changed careers many times to find her passion. This has led to a successful career so far.

Kristen’s journey began in college as a musical theater major, using performing arts to jump into someone else’s life and explore it. However, when she graduated, there were very few acting jobs available.  She started going to lectures and extra classes at NYU and discovered a show called RadioLab which painted documentaries in very creative ways. This podcast showed her that journalism would allow her to explore people’s lives which is what she always loved. This change of career and discovering what her true passion was made up the beginning part of her career. Once she found the passion in journalism, she never turned back. Getting to explore people’s lives and put herself in their story was a passion that journalism allowed to happen easily. 

As her career continued, she worked at National Geographic where she participated in a project called Expedition Amelia where they went looking for Amelia Earhart’s remains on a deserted island. Though they didn’t find the remains, the team got some incredible materials and it was turned into a live show. The experience started to feel off since making journalism that’s also being consumed as entertainment can make it feel less true and authentic. As a result of this change of heart, she and a coworker tried to start a podcast but it didn’t end up working because of the pandemic. Then she realized that watching all of the social inequities and structural problems with how our society works for regular people was something that gave her a worry. The thought that some of the issues could be fixed on the ground inspired her to start at AIM where she helped people tell their story. 

While at AIM, she has realized that students and community members have amazing stories to tell. Watching students follow their passions and come up with new ideas was the biggest win for her within AIM. Getting to watch people tell stories and see what they have done is the passion Kristen has had and seeing it come true sort of completes her end goals since it was her goal to go into people’s shoes and now others are also interested in that. The journey might have taken a while but now watching others do it has been the greatest success for her in the journey. 

Though Kristen’s journey hasn’t been linear, she’s found a passion and job that allows her to explore other people’s stories.The biggest take away is that it is okay for a career to not be a straight line and changing when it is necessary is not only good but can be very encouraging overall. The experiences you can get at past jobs can help guide the future and nothing should be forgotten. A piece of advice is to find a guiding factor and go based on that. How it looks might change but being grounded in one thing is sometimes the best way to experience a career. For Kristen this guiding force was wanting to put herself in others shoes and understand a wider range of experiences and people. Sadly, AIM is having some funding challenges and had to lay off its staff. We look forward to seeing what’s next for Kristen and how her goals of understanding and helping people continues into her next job.

About the Contributor
Ilana Hoffer
Ilana Hoffer, Staff Reporter
Ilana is a junior at Arlington Tech, interested in expanding her writing by working on articles for the Chronicle. In her free time, Ilana enjoys being outside, playing soccer, spending time with her dog and hanging out with friends. She is interested in becoming a mechanical engineer.