The Devil's Dish

2014 Cronkite High School Summer Journalism Institute

SJI alumni offer advice to current SJI students

SJI alumni Juan Juarez and Gabriel Gamiño talk to current SJI students about their experiences and internships, while also offering valuable advice

By Nicole Gimpl

Early in the morning on June 13, 2014, the Walter Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute students had the opportunity to meet with and interview two alumni of the aforementioned program. The students were able to hear about all the doors that participation in the institute provides.

Juan Juarez, alum of SJI 2009, as well as Gabriel Gamiño, alum of SJI 2013, spoke to the students.

Juarez (on screen) and Gamiño (bottom right) share a moment to remember past SJI experiences. Photo by Nicole Gimpl

Juan Juarez (on screen) and Gabriel Gamiño (bottom right) share their experiences with the current SJI students. Juarez is in Washington D.C. working an internship at the NBC news desk.  Photo by Nicole Gimpl

Both alumni expressed a deep appreciation for everything the program has done for them thus far, and encourage the current students to network, know a little bit about everything, and ask questions whenever they arise.

Juarez and Gamiño admitted to being shy students in high school and prompt the SJI students to put themselves out there.

“The mind of a journalist is an inch deep and a mile wide,” Gamiño said

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 technology that the industry is currently using and notes the importance of staying up-to-date.

Juarez communicated with the students via Skype, from the information desk at NBC in New York, 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,” Juarez said.

Since graduating in 2013, Gamiño is working at the local Phoenix PBS station and is also the social media director for the Dare to Dream organization which aides 8th-graders with their transition into high school, and helps 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, Gamiño left the students with some advice:

“Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”



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