By Leah Romero, age 9

Lucia Mejia Cardenas is an 11-year-old IndyKids reporter who started writing for IndyKids in 2018. She has written stories on the first Native American women to be elected to the United States Congress, as well as racial discrimination with hairstyles, and drew a political cartoon depicting family separation at the Mexico-U.S. border.

How did you start writing for IndyKids?

I started writing for IndyKids through a connection my mom had with Democracy Now! She was translating an interview with a social activist. I started in the summer of 2018, during the summer camp. I had a great time and learned a lot from that experience.

Why do you like writing and journalism?

I’m a very expressive person. Whether it be about food, animals, movies or even politics, I really like to share my opinion. I think writing is a great way to express yourself. Not only does journalism let you stretch your writing abilities and express yourself, but it also helps others stay informed, which is important.

What subjects do you like to write about?

I’m very flexible with the subjects I write about. I’m passionate about many things. I’ve written articles about environmental justice, but I’ve also written about racism. I like to write about all kinds of subjects!

Who inspired you to start writing?

I think my main influence was my mom, especially for nonfiction writing. She writes tons of research papers and essays about social justice, so I grew up hearing about issues and how to stay in the word count (which, by the way, is very hard). For general writing, I’ve really been my own role model. I’ve always loved reading, so I try to recreate stories all the time.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I grow up, I want to be a designer. I love to sketch out designs for friends and family, and am obsessed with the show Project Runway. I think fashion is also a form of self-expression and can be used to make a statement. That’s something I want to take part in for all my life.