So, you all were probably wondering when I would finally post something to the blog, especially since the other staff members have. Well, what better time than now for my one and only blog, as I will try to express my entire thoughts.
When Yves first told me that this year’s topic would be covering the earthquake in Haiti, I was not surprised, as it was a major topic, but I wondered whether the new, incoming group of young journalists would be able to cover it from all angles, and truly showcase the many aspects of the Haitian culture. With the end of the workshop, I believe no other group of high-school journalists as yourself could have done any better. With a topic so dear to Haitians such as myself, Nadege Charles, and Yves, this year’s topic was at a grand scale, and you 19 students handled it in the best way possible.
From stories covering Haitian musicians, to the science of the Earthquake, these stories and videos and photos have captured the emotions 6 months later in ways that the national media could not.
While the content was amazing, I will not shift directions and speak about you as individuals. I truly believe that the differences between each of you created a montage group that I will never forget. I will even go on to say that your group, without taking anything away from the students from my montage year (08), really made it an enjoyable experience. It was such a pleasure meeting and interacting with each and every one of you. Each of you are destined for greatness, no doubt about it. Yves really raised the bar with the selection of you guys.
There were so many memories that I will never forget. When anyone asks you “Where were you when LeBron became a part of the Miami Heat?” you can always say that you were at the Montage. Times like Roberto standing up for Tomas. Sharing the unforgettable Chartwells blog with you guys. Hearing Danielle say “Oh Heyyyy Steeeeeve.” Waking up Armand with loud Air-Horn noises. Convincing Melissa that she was ruining my life. Putting Sam through heck on the way to Brickell. Creating the best handshake with Haley. Making sure that Anthony always got late-night orders correct. Geeking it up with Jonathan. Richard flooding the laundry room. Debating Pamela’s hippie-ness. Always following up with Brian on the latest NBA happenings. Getting schooled on the court by Kristy. Awkwardly funny conversations with Amanda. Funny arguments with Christina. Trying to keep Nicole calm. Trying to stop Edgar from taking the worst pics of me. Falling asleep of boredom while John would talk to me. These and so much more memories, which will never fade away. I would never have believe that this montage and it’s students would bring so much to the table.
Now that we have separated, for now, time for business. Continue to do well in school, that’s the most important thing. For you rising senior, don’t let senioritis catch you. For you juniors, don’t let it catch you a year early, lol. I cannot stress that enough. As I’ve told past participants, APPLY TO UM! DO NOT let the cost defer you and your decision to apply to our institution. Yves said he would love you see you here, and I feel the same way. I’ve had so many great experiences in my first year, and I would love to see you bright minds experience it also. The financial aid department is VERY generous, and there are many possibilities of grants and other scholarships. Most importantly, don’t make the same mistake I made by not applying for outside scholarships. Though they may seem like small rewards, if you receive more than a few, the money really adds up. If UM is still iffy in your mind, FIU is also another option that I will recommend, as they have a wonderful Journalism program. All in all, my thing is to keep the talent down here in South Florida. I love to see students who have a passion in journalism remain in the melting pot for all news, Miami. While I do respect the decision to go out of state, remaining in South Florida is your best bet for networking and amazing opportunities. In a nutshell, apply to the University of Miami!
Please remember to keep in touch with us. Whether it is me, Mupalia Hasheem Olajuwan Mutombo Manute Wakhisi (LOL), Sophia, or any of the others, we are here to help you, even following the workshop. Most importantly, this also means staying in contact with both Yves and Fred, as they can be very beneficial when it comes to recommendations, as well as any questions you may have. You have us all on Facebook, so no excuses! Take what you learned with you and apply it. There is no better feeling than sharing what you have learned with others. REMEMBER: You guys were part of THE BEST journalism workshop in America, hands down. Take advantage of the connections you have made with everyone. I still have the newspaper from my year spread out on my wall, as a daily reminder of how much the workshop has changed me as a person.
Be grateful (I know I am) for the experience, with all the positives and negatives that it came with, because without a doubt, it has had a great effect on your life in some sort of way. I would not be in the position I am if it was not for every single person during my workshop. Never doubt yourself and your abilities; Many other students applied and did not get in, which really should say something about you kids. Just continue to be responsible individuals, and you will achieve anything you want…I know this.
Call me if you guys need anything, and I will do my best to help, I promise.
With all the love in the world,