Shayna Yasuhara is BATW’s newest and youngest Board member. Here’s why she joined BATW, why journalism is a time-honored profession, and as necessary as ever in our modern times.

Before I was even in double digits I had an autographed postcard of Connie Chung taped to my wall. I didn’t know big words like “broadcast journalism” at the time, or that she was the first Asian American woman to become an anchor for a major U.S. newscast network, but the very fact that she existed was empowering in itself. This is my earliest recollection of being in awe of journalists – a field where you get to be a truth seeker, an explorer and someone who asks a lot of questions.

One of the main reasons I joined Bay Area Travel Writers is because writers tend be folks with a genuine lifelong curiosity for worlds that exist outside their own, willing to share these discoveries with others, and this is exactly the type of people I’d like to surround myself with. I’ve done a solid range of writing and editing, and I’m not exactly a spring chicken, but when I meet people who have published books that are older than me, it’s downright humbling. There’s a lot of work and traveling I need to do!

As a Millennial writer, it feels like an unglamorous time to be a writer. It’s hard to eke out a living in a digital age where we are overwhelmed with content and decently paying gigs are hard to come by. It’s challenging, but not impossible. I really hope to make BATW more diverse and bring in more writers who could benefit from BATW’s community spirit – it’s like an energy that bounces off each other and grows.

Through BATW, I’ve learned something new at each meeting, met someone new, and won a trip for two to Hawaii with posh accommodations. (Yep, I’m lucky.) But as always, the first step to making anything good happen is showing up. Second, don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.

Special thanks to Jim Gebbie who first brought me in to a meeting as a guest. And Molly Blaisdell, BATW’s former President, who is a natural leader, role model and dear friend.