Taryn Finley is never home.
"She's definitely gone more often than not," says roommate Sara Gentzler, "it's very rare that she's home."
Her days consist of “work”, in sarcasm quotes because when you ask her about Essence Magazine, she describes something that sounds far from what she would consider to be just a day job.
Her nights find her all over the city, going to events for the magazine, social events with the New York Association of Black Journalists and making the most out of being in New York City.
“I’m just trying to take full advantage of this summer,” she says, “Last year I vowed I would be here, and next year I wanna look back and be like, ‘No regrets.’”
Essence Magazine, which she constantly flipped through growing up, was her first choice of magazines for the summer, and she couldn’t be happier there.
“I always loved magazines throughout my life, but Essence kept coming back to me and speaking to me.” Working there, she says, is a dream come true.
Her fascination with black history and advocacy began in elementary school along with her attraction to the written word. Twelve years passed, and on the brink of graduation from high school, when she was sure of where she wanted to end up, she was told she couldn’t have it.
“My counselor sat down with my dad and told him that I should look at in state schools and community colleges, for financial reasons, and that hurt.”
Financial status, she says, should never determine your attainable education status.
However, this lack of support did not deter her.
After this summer, Finley will be entering her fourth and final year at Howard University as a part of the rigorous Annenberg Honors Program.
The next person to tell her she couldn’t do something was the Dayton Daily News, a local newspaper, who told the girl fresh from her first year of college that she wasn’t ready for an internship yet.
So Finley started several of her own blogs, wrote for hercampus and 101 Magazine, and interned at Radio One in Washington D.C.
Eventually, Finley desires to own her own digital publication, and, given her current track record, all she needs is someone to tell her that she can’t.
For now though, Finley is happy doing what she is doing, saying, “I never thought I would love something this much.”
Look for Finley’s name in the next Essence, which should hit newsstands this next week, with her article about Blair Underwood.
-Written Stefan Malmsten, Money, Ohio University
-Edited by Andrew Chow, TV Guide, Harvard