Every summer, the Grant Magazine staff holds a journalism camp for rising seventh through ninth graders. Their stories are posted here, on the Grant Magazine website.
As Ryan Yambra walked down the hallways of Grant High School on a sunny afternoon in 2011, something caught his eye.
The then-Grant senior noticed a flyer, different than the school’s usual posters of clubs and upcoming sports events. This one was different. It was for a developing journalism class, Grant Magazine.
For years, Yambra had sought a challenge, and now, in his senior year of high school, he found it.
He called Dave Austin, the man who volunteered to start up the class, excited for the potential opportunity. Yambra’s involvement in this up and coming program would be essential.
Austin says that without Yambra, there would not be a Grant Magazine and certainly not at the caliber they are at today.
Yambra has made his mark in Grant Magazine history. As one of the first editors of the nationally-recognized publication, he’s a familiar face to even the newest staff members.
The skills that he has gained through being a part of the journalism program stuck with him throughout high school and into college, prompting him to graduate a year early from Willamette University and subsequently land a job in Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services.
Yambra works hard to stay on his game. He believes that you can learn from mistakes and failures, instead of being hurt by them, a lesson he garnered through many ups and downs in the high-pressure working environment that is imperative to putting a monthly publication together.
Austin describes Yambra as a person who tries to solve problems, rather than complain about them. “If you have the right mindset, failure won’t bring you down,” Yambra said.
Born Aug. 23, 1994, Ryan Yambra is the only child of parents, Ken and Liz Yambra. As a child, he was shy. It wasn’t until starting at Grant High School that he began to come out of his shell, primarily with the support that Austin and the magazine provided.
He wasn’t sure of what he wanted to do until he found Grant Magazine. He helped build the newsroom that is used today, the shelves and cabinets hammered with his own two hands. Grant Magazine gave him the challenge he needed to get better.
Yambra quickly became the go-to guy on the Grant Magazine staff.
Toward the middle of the year, he applied to a few colleges. The process was difficult. Yambra didn’t get accepted into his top school but had myriad others to choose from. After much thought, he chose to attend Willamette University in Salem.
After high school, Yambra developed a love for fitness. Through routine workouts, Yambra lost 70 pounds. He loves finding new recipes online, one of his favorites, Red Velvet Protein Oats.
During his time at Willamette, Yambra excelled. He earned enough credits in his first three years to graduate this past May.
Today, Yambra works at Multnomah County with Luke Bolton, also a former Grant Magazine editor, and Sawyer Montgomery, the magazine’s current online editor. Together, they help publicize different programs in Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services through text, photo and video.
The group of three enjoy working together and have been very successful.
For the time being, Yambra plans to continue working for the county.
Yambra says that he wouldn’t be where he is today without Grant Magazine but Austin believes that without Yambra, Grant Magazine wouldn’t be where it is today, either.