Desirée Decoste tackles journalism in Picton

Loud bangs and large flames were evident on Hiscock Shores Rd. in Carrying Place on an early November morning as a detached garage and a recreational vehicle burned  in an undetermined fire. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Desirée Decoste is a reporter with The Picton Gazette and The Napanee Beaver.

She’s lived in the Quinte region her whole life, starting in Trenton and now in Carrying Place. After going down a rough road after her dad passed away, she ended up at Loyalist in the Photojournalism program.

Loyalist photojournalism testimonial

I would like to start off with saying, when I picked the photojournalism program, I hadn’t really looked into what the course entailed and turned out to be not exactly what I expected.

Through my two years at Loyalist, which had to turn into three, I learned so much about myself and what I can overcome.

I had (and still do have) such bad anxiety (it’s gotten better) when I started the program, I could barely talk to people and I felt like I was in the wrong place/program.

Through my first year, I thought I would fail all my courses and not be able to finish my second year. Thankfully to my amazing teachers Patti, Frank, Scott and Dan, I was able to not only finish my first year, but also finish my second year (and technically third year) and graduate.

The reason I say third year is because, coming back for my second year in the program, I was seven months or so pregnant and the teacher strike was also happening at the time.

I went to school up until I went into labour early morning on Nov. 29 before school.

Right around that time, the strike ended and teachers went back to the classrooms.

Thankful to my teachers, they kept all my marks for the projects I had already completed so my return was a little smoother and not everything all at once.

If it wasn’t for the amazing teachers of the program and all they do for all their students, and for Frank and Scott who saw most of my tears and frustrations, I don’t think I would have graduated.

They truly and utterly want to see all their students succeed and they do all they can to see them accomplish just that.

And always thanks to Linda for her patience, loving nature and amazing cookies and treats!

For all the times I sat in Frank’s office, cried and said I don’t even know why I’m here or what I’m going to do after school, I’m so glad I toughed it out and stayed with the program because now I’m in a job I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Working for a newspaper has opened my eyes even more to what I can actually accomplish.

Just because something unexpected happened doesn’t mean you can’t finish what you started. Your hopes and dreams matter just as much as everyone else’s. You can always accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

They say you won’t work a day in your life if you love what you do, I definitely love what I do!

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my doubts some days if I’m really cut out for this field of work, but then I look at my colleagues and the work I’ve been doing and I know I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


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