Staff profile: Veronica Vanderbeek
Tens of thousands of people were killed last year in Sudan, yet this is where Veronica Vanderbeek wants to start her career.
“If I die, I die,” Vanderbeek said. “But I think it’s important and needs doing.”
Vanderbeek, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, wants to be an international reporter. In May, she’ll graduate with a double major in journalism and advertising/public relations, but it was in high school where her passion for aiding others through journalism began.
While a junior at Southwest in Lincoln, she took a class taught by Mark Gudgel that focused on the genocide in Darfur. The class and the teacher’s passion for the subject influenced Vanderbeek to help others.
“She was as dedicated to her fellow human beings as she was to her academics,” Gudgel said.
Her first project was creating a Lincoln chapter of the organization STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur). Vanderbeek has since gained more experience by interning at World Vision, a Humanitarian non-profit in Seattle, and working with refugees in Lincoln at Catholic Social Services.
As an international reporter, she hopes to publicize events that are usually underreported because they occur in dangerous areas. For Vanderbeek though, doing what’s right outweighs the threat.
“If I let the fact that it’s dangerous stop me, it wouldn’t be standing up for what I believe.”
Vanderbeek talks more about her goals: listen