Over the past year, journalism alumna Sari Heidenreich ’12 became very familiar with asking the right questions. After all, as senior social media producer for WHTM-TV (abc27) in Harrisburg, Pa., Heidenreich was responsible for reporting breaking news at a moment’s notice and keeping online information accurate, concise and relevant.
It’s no surprise then, that when Heidenreich heard about a job opening with Best Semester’s Middle East Studies Program (MESP), a program in which she participated in during her junior year at Messiah, she started questioning if it was the right opportunity for her.
The MESP is run by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Through the program, students spend a semester studying contemporary politics, religion and culture of the Middle East in Jerusalem, Israel.
“I was very happy at my current job, but I couldn’t help but get excited when I saw the open position,” said Heidenreich. “After speaking with some people I knew that held the position before, I decided to apply.”
After she was offered the job, Heidenreich, who has been interested in journalism since childhood, spoke with several of her mentors who reaffirmed her plans to take a year off from journalism. They were confident that international experience would help give her a broader perspective and would ultimately bring her closer to her goal of becoming an international human rights reporter.
Heidenreich, who grew up as a missionary kid in Ghana, Africa, has always had an interest in travel, human rights and the Middle East.
“My dream job would be to combine my love of travel and culture with the public service aspect of journalism. This job will definitely help me gain more international experience.”
Heidenreich left for Jerusalem on August 5 and will spend one full academic year working with students in the program and assisting the program director with administrative duties, and anything else that comes along.
She is excited about the prospect of living in Jerusalem for a year and working with the program.
“I see this being a year for opportunity, growth and personal reflection,” said Heidenreich.
Even though this is a job and not technically a year of service, Heidenreich hopes this is an opportunity to give back to a program that gave her so much. “I’ll be helping to create a new group of global citizens,” she reflected. “As a Christian I think we need to care about our brothers and sisters; this program really equips people to do that and it is great to be coming back and train a new group of students.”
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Posted on August 12th, 2013