Tegan McCarthy

We're sharing your uplifting stories during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time where we have often needed to look hard for them.

Tegan McCarthy

For 12-year-old Tegan McCarthy, writing has always been a part of her life, even since she was a young child.

“The way you can create your own world by using words and making individual characters and places has always astonished me,” she said. “Writing and reading are something I turn to when I need a break from reality because I get a feeling that characters you can create understand you more than anyone really.”

The seventh-grader at Sahuarita Middle School said realistic fiction is her favorite genre to write and she likes being able to create characters and plots others can relate to, or identify with.

But Tegan has been especially busy with her writing over the last months since joining the Bear Essential News, a local newspaper in Arizona for children, written by children.

“I started with Bear Essential a few months ago when my mom and I saw that they were looking for young reporters on TV,” she said. “I love writing so I filled one of the forms and sent it in.”

So far, Tegan has written five news stories for the Bear Essential News and got to be on TV once.

One of Tegan’s favorite writing experiences during the pandemic was a piece on the Sahuarita Dance Center.

“I attend jazz lessons there and it is really enjoyable,” she said. “I have made new friends there and it is also helpful for flexibility and exercise in general.”

Tegan plans to continue writing and called writing her “passion in life.”

“Writing this (dance center story) and writing overall has been a great 2020-2021 moment for me because I feel I have my talent or something that I am good at that I actually appreciate doing,” she said.


Roxanne Camus and her granddaughter Sofia. 

Roxanne Camus

For Sahuarita resident Roxanne Camus, family is the greatest joy in life.

Roxanne and her husband have lived here for six years and live only a mile away from her mother. 

While 2020 was a hard year for many, Roxanne experienced something amazing at the beginning of last year.

“Our favorite moment of 2020 was the birth of our first granddaughter who has become our beacon of light,” she said. “We are blessed.”

Sofia, who just celebrated her first birthday, was born on Jan. 25, 2020, and is a happy, curious baby.

“She loves to play, listen to music and dance,” Roxanne said. “She loves books, wrestling with her dad and cuddling. We get to spend time together a couple times a week and keep her every Saturday to give mom and dad time to be together. Saturdays are my favorite day.”

Roxanne said on their days together, they love to paint fingerprints, walk around the lake and go on outings.

Roxanne is a proud grandmother and said Sofia’s parents are incredible people too. Her daughter Leila is a stay-at-home mom and her son-in-law Patrick is in the Air National Guard after serving six years in the Air Force. He will be graduating from the University of Arizona this May with a mechanical engineering degree.

“There are not enough words to express the pure joy of seeing my daughter, Leila, as a mother,” she said.

Roxanne treasures her family and said it made 2020 a lot brighter.

“She has been a light and a joy during an unprecedented year,” she said. “I feel very fortunate that when others may have been lonely, I was able to spend time with her.”

Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9728 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.