Jillian Trainor.

Meet the new reporter

East meets West as Prince Edward Island native Jillian Trainor joins the staff at Arrow Lakes News.

Born in Charlottetown and raised in Summerside, Trainor had lived most of her life on PEI.

After graduating from high school, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do.

“I knew I eventually wanted to go to school, I just didn’t know where, or what for.” she said.

She also knew she wasn’t quite ready for a post-secondary education.

“When you’re in high school, there’s a really big pressure on you. By the time you’re a senior, you’re expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s crazy.”

She decided to take a year off and work. One year turned into two and after a chance encounter with a former schoolmate in 2009, she applied to the journalism program at the New Brunswick Community College in Woodstock, N.B.

Originally, she wanted to work in broadcast. In what would turn out to be her final term at NBCC, she and her classmates did two weeks of print reporting, which included putting out two issues of a student created newspaper.

“That’s when I discovered I truly liked writing. I had always enjoyed the journalism program, but I don’t know if I was ever a fan of being on camera. I always preferred the behind the scenes stuff, like editing, and writing the scripts for broadcast pieces.”

Leaving NBCC, she tried her hand at the two-year journalism program at Holland College in Charlottetown.

A highlight of her time at Holland College was when she had the chance to interview Justin Trudeau, who was at the time still campaigning to become leader of the Liberal Party.

“I took a chance and asked his people if it would be possible to do a quick interview with him after his speech. I was hoping he’d say yes, but I was prepared for a no. It was definitely one of those times I will always remember.”

In the summer of 2013, tragedy struck.

“My mother, Eunice, died about two weeks before my second year was due to start. That changed my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe.”

After graduating in May, 2015, she started her job search. After sending out numerous resumes, she received an email from Jennifer Cowan, Operation Manager for Black Press Media.

“It happened really fast. I got the email from Jennifer back in August, and two or three phone calls with her later, I’ve got a job.”

Very early in the morning on Sept. 4, after packing as much as she could into her SUV, including her cat Zeppelin and his kennel, she hit the road.

She was in Medicine Hat, AB, by Sunday night and made it to Nakusp on the evening of Sept. 8.

“I’ve now driven through almost every province. In the span of five days, I’ve seen a lot of this country, and I’ve gotten to see how beautiful it is in its various ways. It’s pretty breathtaking.”

If you see Jillian around, be sure to say hi and let her know of any story ideas you might have. She is eager to settle in and make Nakusp her home.