From the editor's desk: Getting to know the Twin Cities, one story at a time

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Though I’ve only been in the Twin Cities since September, Johnny Cash’s “I‘ve Been Everywhere” officially serves as the theme song for March’s issue.

Even with Mother Nature’s icy grip paralyzing my will to live on most days, ThreeSixty’s student writers have been game to hop in my car and try anything this winter. So whether it’s Burnsville, Lakeland, Stillwater, New Hope, the University of Minnesota campus, City Hall in downtown Minneapolis – you name it – the ThreeSixty road show has been busy putting our young journalists in the hot seat.

Face-to-face interviews give our young writers the best opportunity to experience the thrill of journalism. It also opens up the Twin Cities to them in ways the Google Maps app on their iPhone could only dream of. I’m there only as an adult guide; the driver’s ed instructor with an emergency brake, if you will.

Since our sources – including a super busy Mayor of Minneapolis (I mean, he only has an entire city to run)– have been so gracious with their time, we’ll continue to take advantage of the open door policy. By scouring the surrounding area for interviews, our teen writers are seeing that, yes, it can be scary to shake hands, ask questions and look a subject in the eye. But as I’ve also come to learn as a Cheesehead from across the border, that Minnesota Nice thing is legit. Steve Burton, the head basketball coach at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, even let my students stick around for an entire practice. And he brought us chairs!

It’s a collaborative effort, and the hard work shows in our reported stories. I’m equally proud of the personal essays sprinkled throughout this issue, a glimpse at the unfiltered teenage voice you just can’t replicate elsewhere.

More locations await for our next issue. Now where did I put my chauffeur’s cap?

— Thomas Rozwadowski, ThreeSixty youth editor

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