Meet Makenzi Johnson

Makenzi Johnson Header

Where are you from?

I’m from Fargo, born and raised.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I’m a junior studying journalism and Spanish at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. I’ve lived in North Dakota my entire life and jumped at the opportunity for a change of pace and a fresh start by going to the cities for school. I think “big city life” has been good to me so far, but it’s always nice to come home for some familiarity and a home cooked meal! I’m also a cat person, which tends to cause some controversy, but I’ll stand firm on this hill.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

I would totally want Florence Pugh to play me. I was voted as a celebrity lookalike to her in my high school yearbook, so I feel like it’s only necessary for her to play me, in addition to her crazy cool talent!

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I love listening to music, anything from Frank Sinatra to ABBA to Harry Styles. Having spontaneous dance parties are pretty common occurrences due to that. I also love reading books, especially classic literature.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I roasted marshmallows on the top of an active volcano in Guatemala! I swear the marshmallows taste differently when roasted over hot, steaming volcanic rock rather than a bonfire. 

What part of your position provides the most value?

Being a part of the editorial team has been the most valuable experience, thus far. Getting to work closely with the other editors has already taught me so much and it's been really cool to learn from them and their unique ways of writing a story. 

Tell us about your experience.

I had no experience with journalism prior to going to college, so adding it to my major was an impulsive decision because I thought it could be fun, and I was right. I started writing for Bethel's student-led newspaper, The Clarion, early on in my college career, becoming lifestyle reporter, then lifestyle editor and will serve as Editor in Chief of it this upcoming school year. I’ve fallen in love with journalism ever since and I’m thankful that my impulsive decision worked in my favor!

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

I believe getting to write stories about new things in the community makes the most impact. New favorite restaurants are discovered, a new sport is played, new events held all over the city are put on people’s calendars all because of the stories myself and the editorial team write.

Why does our community matter to you?

After being outside of the FM community for the better part of two years due to college, I have such a desire to get to know it better, especially as an adult. I’ve always known that the community has a lot to offer, but I’m realizing that the scope of its offerings are so much bigger than I thought. Knowing that there is so much to offer makes me proud of the FM community. 

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

My main goal is to get to know the FM community even better through the stories I write. The act of writing alone will help me gain a lot of experience, but I believe that the more I write about people, places, events and good things, the more I will become familiar with the community, and learn to love it even more.