Deep background, from the South to South Florida

22 Jun

Why a ‘struggling journalist‘?

My first blog post, “Where am I going with this?” explained the purpose of this blog and my journey to start my own media company, I decided to give a little more background information on me and where I come from.

For this, I am taking an excerpt from one of my old blogs, They call me Sunshine, ’cause I’m white. This was a blog I created during my multi-ethnic reporting class. Read on, if you wish.


January 19, 2011

 My name is Becca, and I’m a white girl.
Before we can really see what stereotypes we possess ourselves about the world around us, we may first have to look at the ones brought upon us. This is why I find it necessary and appropriate for me to introduce myself. Like I said, my name is Becca Burton. I’m from Pensacola, FL. For those of you who don’t know, that is a little beach town in the Panhandle about ten minutes from Alabama. And, already I know what some of you may be thinking. “There’s another girl from a Southern Republican family who is closed minded and ignorant.” And if any of you could’ve heard my southern draw when I moved here three years ago you may have thought my accent brought out the ignorance even more so. And some others of you may be thinking, “A naive little white girl who’s never seen or even experienced any type of traumatic experience.”From my experiences of living in a place away from the shelter of my hometown, some of these stereotypes become apparent to me. Miami is where I first noticed them. My first day of orientation at FIU, a kid gave me the nickname “Sunshine,” and when he said it to me I began to notice I was the only white girl in the room. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that sort of situation before that moment. I had before so been the only white girl in a room of black people; but never hispanic people, people that had accents I was not used to and spoke languages I didn’t understand. It was that day I realized I was in for an adventure. It would me my first time being what I thought to be a minority. It would be my first time realizing the stereotypes minorities were given.But don’t get me mistaken, I’m not saying I came to Miami being oblivious to other cultures. In Pensacola, I lived with my two parents until I was 17. My dad started out in the Navy, but got discharged when I was young and hasn’t really had a job since I was about 13 years old. My mother was run over by a car and partially paralyzed when she was ten, so being handicapped she wasn’t able to work either. My family, as you could say, was the typical welfare case, surviving off of food stamps and manna food banks. So hearing this, some may think of me as “white trash.”  That’s another stereotype I’ve come to realize. Living from one low income housing area, to the next trailer park, I can honestly say I’ve been around some of the most interesting-though sometimes-scary people. These people all had something to teach me, even if I was only learning vicariously through their mistakes.

Since the recreation around these areas wasn’t really suitable for a girl trying to get a proper education, I took up surfing with some of my friends from the magnet school I attended. Being a surfer for so long, and making jewelry tends to also give me the label as a “hippie,” yet another stereotype. Long story short, I moved to Miami right after high school to attend FIU. I had nothing but 100 bucks in my pocket and a letter promising me financial aid.

Big City Shock: First day in Miami <—comical narrative of my first day in Latin America–aka–Miami.


I have since graduated from FIU with a lot of student loans and credit card debt. This summer, I am working to save up for an apartment in Gainesville, Fla. to attend graduate school. I also am building my portfolio as a journalist in order to land a full-time job to pay back my undergraduate loans and my rent of course.

I am holding three jobs as a waitress, freelance reporter and hula-hooper (which I will explain in more detail later) to make my dream happen. I welcome any other journalists or recent grads to follow along and share any similar experiences of their scary, uncertain post-college life.


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