You may have noticed a new writer's name in this week's Star, Alaina Bird, known by most as Lainie Bird.


Lainie, who just finished her freshman year at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, has come aboard as a intern for our news department. While most interns are just discovering their abilities, Lainie comes to us with a tremendous set of skills. In fact, the journalism major is looking forward to helping lead her school's yearbook staff next year.


A 2009 graduate of Sultana High School, Lainie has an impressive resume. A star cross country and track runner, she competed on two C.I.F. championship squads, a cross country title and soccer championship. But she excelled in the classroom as well and was a valedictorian, which prompted me to ask if she would help with our coverage of local valedictorians. The first installment of her coverage is featured on page B1.


Lainie has deep roots in Hesperia. Her family has lived in Hesperia for decades, and her father, Larry Bird, was a principal at Ranchero Middle School. I remember her great-grandfather, the late Rev. Bird, as a very impressive gentleman who worked until he was around 80.


We're excited to have Alaina Bird participate in our summer internship program. But she is not the only local product who will serve an internship here. A few others have expressed interest in learning about the newspaper business, and we expect them to start shortly. We'll keep you posted.


It's a tough job market out there. Many college students will not be finding work this summer. But it's heartening to know that some young people from Hesperia aren't resting on their laurels. They are taking advantage of opportunities to develop their craft and working hard to make a difference.