Early this morning, the Walter Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute students had the opportunity to meet with and interview two alumni of the program. The students were able to hear about all the doors that participation in the institute provides from Juan Juarez, alum of SJI 2009, as well as Gabriel Gamiño, alum of SJI 2013.
Both alumni express a deep appreciation for everything the program has done for them thus far, and encourage the current students to network, and know a little bit about everything, as well as ask questions whenever they feel the need to. Juarez and Gamiño admitted to being shy students in high school and encourage the SJI students to put themselves out there.
“The mind of a journalist is an inch deep and a mile wide,” said Gamiño.
Gamiño especially stressed the idea of getting out of a comfort zone, and finding out the facts about not only what interests any particular journalist, but also information about anything one could possibly have to report on.
Juarez in particular informed students about the different types of technologies that the industry is currently using, keeping them up-to-date.
Juarez communicated with the students via Skype, from the information desk at NBC in New York. There, he is currently interning with some of the best in the business.
“Being with the network makes me participate in stories from the Bergdahl scandal to speeches made by President Obama. I get over 500 emails a day that I have to answer to follow leads on breaking stories,” said Juarez.
Since graduating in 2013, Gamiño is working at the local Phoenix PBS station, as well as being the social media director for the Dare to Dream organization which aides 8th graders in their transition to high school, and help clean up the image of schools in west Phoenix.
Overall, the students were able to take away information, from essentially their future selves, that will give them the tools they need to be successful. Most importantly, they left the students with this:
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”