Joe Cardello only participated in Campbell Union School District's Rising Young Authors series once, but the experience became part of who he is now.
Cardello will be unable to make this year's 10th annual Rising Young Authors Series event this Thursday, Nov. 1 but wanted to share about his experience being a part of the first year.
Campbell Patch: What school did you attend and what grade were you when you first entered the Rising Young Author Series?
Joe Cardello: I was in 7th grade at Rolling Hills Middle School.
Patch: How many times did you participate in the series?
Cardello: I believe I only participated the one time.
Patch: Why did you want to be an author at the time?
Cardello: As a youngster, I was fascinated with the power of the written word. I loved how a few markings on a page could inspire an elaborate imaginary world within the brain, and I wanted to share my own ideas through that medium.
Patch: What did you learn from the experience?
Cardello: This experience exposed me to my peers' excellent work, reminding me that I wasn't the only one my age who cared about writing.
Patch: How do you use what you learned from this experience in your life today?
Cardello: Although I don't write as much as I used to, I still draw on what I've learned when the situation demands it.
For instance, I recently applied for a job and included the obligatory cover letter. As usual, I tried to craft a letter that eloquently spoke to the needs of the employer and described (in honest but complimentary terms) how I was perfect for the job.
During my second interview for the position, one of the hiring managers commented that he usually skips over cover letters - but mine was so well written that he ended up reading and enjoying the whole thing.
Patch: What do you do now?
Cardello: I graduated from UCLA last year. I currently work for the Disneyland Resort, with roles in both Attractions and Entertainment.
Patch: What are your thoughts that 10 years later, Campbell Union School District is still doing this series?
Cardello: I'm very pleased that CUSD has continued with this series! Excellence should absolutely be encouraged, and writing is a medium that can be artistically sublime AND pragmatically useful.
Patch: What is your advise to this year's recipients?
Cardello: Never let others quell your passion! You may encounter people who are dismissive of your talents, but don't worry about them. Keep writing! Explore other creative avenues, too! You never know what sources of joy and success you may find.
Read all our past coverage of the Rising Young Authors Series.