Photo Credit:
Jalen Rodney
12th grade
Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
He went to bat for me, which directly led me to where I am today.

Andrea Delbanco

Editor in Chief, TIME for Kids

New York, NY

My parents have a family friend named John Darnton, who was a career editor at the New York Times and I grew up with him and his children who were around my age. After I graduated from Brown, I applied to work at the New York Times and he flagged my application to the woman who was in charge of filling that position. John knew me well enough to know that I was educated, confident, and had what it took to do the job. I don’t actually know if that’s the reason I got the job, but I do know that without highlighting my application from the many others, it would have been much more of a long-shot.

Another editor for whom I worked at the New York Times, Jerry Gray, also really went the extra mile to help me develop my skills. We were working at a desk that was establishing NYTimes.com’s relationship with the newspaper because they were still separate entities. Jerry gave me more responsibility, more of a voice, and more ownership in what the system would look like than anyone rightfully should have at that age.

At the time, I was 21 years old and Jerry gave me a sense of confidence way beyond most bosses and mentors. There were many layers of people between us on the reporting chain, and for some reason, he went to bat for me, which directly led me to where I am today.

Andrea Delbanco is the Editor in Chief of TIME for Kids, a magazine for elementary school students. She also oversees Your $, the brand’s financial literacy magazine.