For the past three years, Kaitlin Lembo has been a valued member of our newspapers. As an intern, she earned our industry’s coveted New York Press Association Award for her coverage of the arts. She accomplished this while still a senior at the University of Albany. She repeated that feat earning a second NYPA Award in March. We say goodbye to her this week, and wish her well.
My dearest Spots,
This is the last issue of The Spotlight and The Spot 518 I will be involved in. While I’m seeing this paper for the last time with my name on the bottom, the journey is one that will continue for the rest of my career.
I walked into Spotlight as an intern when I was 22 years old. I was in my last semester of journalism school at UAlbany; I was shy, still unsure of my skills and extremely nervous, but I was ready to prove myself. I quickly did, and for those who allowed me the honor of writing the first stories of my professional career, thank you for your trust.
The past three-plus years of full-time employment at Spotlight have been a dream. I walked in barely an adult and I’m walking out now at 26 — an award winner on multiple fronts and with all the confidence in the world that despite my love for Spotlight, it’s time to move on.
Spotlight has only enriched my love of journalism and the written word. The ability to grow my skills here and nurture my talent has been a privilege. Perhaps what I take away most is the innate love of music; while I’ve always loved music more than many, I’ve fallen in love with the art of creation and with art, in general. Being on the journey and watching people chase their dreams is humbling, exciting and such an utter honor. For those who have allowed me to run with them, thank you. I can’t thank you enough.
To my coworkers, the seven people who remain here and the ones who departed before now, you will forever be family. Thank you for everything, both personal and professional. Despite the stress, unplanned weekend work days and absolute madness churning out a paper can bring, we continue to produce magic and I’m so honored to have been enveloped by your acceptance so quickly. During the worst pandemic in a century, coming to the seven of you each day gave a little bit of normalcy and when my family didn’t understand the stress of pandemic journalism, you all did. My heart feels so full knowing I can count on you for anything and everything, always.
To my two replacements, you will move mountains. I’m so honored you’re carrying the torch and I’m so excited to see what magic you work while you’re here.
To our faithful readers, thank you for allowing me into your world for the past almost four years. Thank you for clapping for my achievements and, more importantly, holding me accountable so I became a better person. Even during the worst post office mishaps, editorial snafus and delivery sagas, I never had to think about whether or not I wanted to be here. I believe in this paper with every fiber of my heart and that will never change.
Journalism is not for everyone, but as I lie my head on the pillow each night, the decision I made one day at Hudson Valley Community College remains one I haven’t a single regret.
Thank you. I will see you soon. Keep being the community you are; there’s no place else I would have rather spent this time.
All my love,
P.S. In fact, no. Forget Kaitlin. Call me Katie, because we are friends. It’s time to let Kaitlin rest.