The Des Moines Storyteller

It is not always easy writing about local Iowa stories and turning them into something bigger. Aaron Young does this as well as anybody. As a 26-year-old journalist who works for the Des Moines Register, Young has made a name for himself as a talented, young writer. Along with producing entertainment through the newspaper in Des Moines, he is able to support his community in other ways. The Urbandale High School alum often returns to his high school to talk to students about him, his career, and everything journalism.


The beginning of Young’s journalism career started at Urbandale High School. His inspiration came from Mrs. Oda-Lawler and her journalism class. This class revealed his natural talent and passion for writing. The exposure he received changed his plans of being a sports reporter to wanting to become a sports journalist. The freedom and opportunities of the class provided Young an opportunity to explore journalism on a deeper level. Because of being an athlete and enjoying competition in high school, he was able to write the sports stories for the school newspaper, which was run by his journalism class. Sports were right in Young’s wheelhouse, so he thrived while writing these stories.

Although Young’s workday starts at 7:00 a.m., his job is never really done. He is constantly searching for his next topic to write about. Fortunately, he has the freedom of choosing his next story as opposed to having it assigned. Searching through social media and other competing websites allows him to find a variety of stories for his readers. The goal is to find material that readers do not hear about time and time again. Young has a knack for this. He repeatedly finds new and interesting stories which is why his articles are so popular. While some stories Young writes are not big headlines in the Des Moines area, he still finds a way to connect with the reader. He also finds a way to connect with the person he is reporting on. Because of this, the interviewee is able to trust him with their story enabling him to create a powerful article.

Every year, Young has the opportunity to visit his old high school and speak to Mrs. Oda-Lawler’s journalism class. He gets to share his story about his inspiration for journalism, which originated in Oda-Lawler’s class, his journey towards journalism as an occupation, and his becoming of a successful journalist. Young’s words to the young high schoolers are impactful year after year. The goal is to inspire the journalism class and educate them on what a successful journalist looks like, this is something he does very well.

Mrs. Oda-Lawler and her class are pleased to have Young visit the high school every year to inspire his audience through both speaking and writing. Hopefully, Young can keep his connections with Urbandale High School as he continues his everyday work as a Des Moines journalist.

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