The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

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By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Meet our newest reporter


Last updated 2/15/2021 at 5:41am | View PDF

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Reporter Sarah Velarde at work.

The Wasco Tribune recently welcomed Sarah Velarde as our newest reporter.

Velarde was born in Bakersfield and was raised in Smith's Corners in Shafter. She is a 2005 graduate of Shafter High and understands the importance of a small community.

Velarde was cheer captain and known as the class clown. After high school she attended Taft Community College.

"After high school graduation, I quickly realized a car equaled freedom so I worked at Generals Headquarters and saved for my first car - a 2006 Volkswagen convertible. I put the first mile on her and her color was harvest moon," Velarde said.

She has worked in the food service industry and jumped to the educational field.

"I've made great friends along the way and every job I've had, I've loved," she added.

Velarde loves coming up with unique words to describe a person, place or feeling.

"I have thoughts and opinions on everything, so I write them out," she added. "I write essays, poetry, short stories and of course, in my diary. English has and will always be my favorite subject in school."

Every day she strives to become a better person.

"My loving family consists of myself and my 5-year-old son, Brandon Lee," she said. "Along with two very musically inclined older brothers.

"My passion is enjoying life as it is; doing my part to make people smile, and to be an overall better person every day," she said.

Velarde is very fond of her sister-in-law and she is best friends with her cousins.

"My mom is grit and grace in the flesh," she said. "To mention everyone notable in my family would require another page."

She said that she originally wanted to report on Shafter; which would have been a dream come true; however, the position open was to work in Wasco.

"As someone who burns the tiger annually, I thought it would be intriguing to get to know the city better," she said. "I do have friends in Wasco and I've always admired the unity and enthusiasm the community of Wasco shares for their town. There's a reason WHS was acknowledged for their school spirit years ago."

Velarde and her family spend a lot of time at the coast to relax.

"Just seeing the ocean soothes our souls and we're all suckers for a good movie night - preferably the drive-in," she said.

Something special about Velarde is that she reads her Bible.

"That's it!" she said. "Absorbing the word of God transforms my brain, heart and motives daily. I am more loving, forgiving, and understanding because of it."

Velarde will be replacing DeRosa when she retires midyear.


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