Rocking to the rhythm of a gospel beat, my voice resonates with messages of love and hope as I sing with members of the Georgetown University Gospel Choir. After singing at choir practice in Dahlgren Chapel, I rush over to THE HOYA office for production night where my pen will churn out stories about issues often neglected in mainstream media coverage. For one semester as a news editor and four years as a staff writer, this has been my life. Now that my time with both has come to an end, I realize how they have helped me become a better singer, a better writer and a better person.

At Georgetown, my voice and my pen have helped me fulfill a higher calling. With choir that calling is more obvious – I want to spread the good news through song. At THE HOYA, my dedication to the values and morals of being a Christian has not been as obvious. I don’t write a religious column and haven’t even written that many religious stories as I aspire to do as a religion reporter one day. But as a Christian who seeks to work for the oppressed and neglected, I have sought to provide coverage of issues and minority campus groups that unfortunately are not often reflected in the media. In that sense, my spirituality and journalistic training have taught me the importance and power of the media to provide a voice to the voiceless as well as to champion important or tough issues.

This is not to say that every piece I have written has had a big campus or social impact. And not everyone who’s heard me sing has fallen in love with gospel music as I have. But I have tried to inform, inspire and uplift through word and song.

Music and journalism, two of my utmost passions, must involve a greater purpose beyond themselves. For me, the purpose is a spiritual one that affects my career and musical ambitions. I am a journalist of faith, a singer of faith. This distinction drives me to sing and write to the best of my ability. If I can reach just one or touch just one, I will consider myself successful and hope to please God.

During my time at Georgetown, I have been most active in the gospel choir and THE HOYA. Other activities and groups have been significant for me, but not like these two. Both singing and writing have audiences for whom I have had the honor of serving. Such a privilege is not to be taken lightly. Sometimes tired and overloaded with school work, I spent hours in rehearsal and hours in THE HOYA news office. Nevertheless, these endeavors have been worthwhile because the gospel choir and THE HOYA are beacons of light in their own ways. Each draws in listeners and readers to powerful messages.

Because of the choir and THE HOYA, both of which I have been honored to be a part of, I believe Georgetown’s campus has been and will continue to be forever changed – one song at a time, one story at a time.

Cherise M. Williams is a senior in the College. She is a former news editor for THE HOYA.

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