Can 1 Person Really Change Your Life?

-By Morgan Aguilar, student staff

I hadn’t realized it until now, but 7 years ago, 1 person dramatically changed the way my life ended up. Had it not been for this person, I may have not been as concerned with getting good grades in high school. I might have never thought about working hard so that I could attend an out-of-state University. Had I never been made aware of this person’s existence, there is a huge chance I would not have ended up at the University of Colorado, become an active feminist, and be on my way to a career field I am passionate and excited about.

Her name is Stephanie Vigil, and she is a news anchor for KHQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Spokane, Washington. I was in 8th grade the first time I realized she was one of the only women on TV who looked like me and was not a maid or could barely speak English. She was a Hispanic woman with a Hispanic last name just like me, and she had power. She was intelligent, articulate and a leader of an entire news station and city. I had to meet her.

3 encounters later, I have finally had the chance to not only meet but also work alongside as an intern with Vigil. In 8th grade my dad set up a job shadow day for me, and I was enamored as she showed me the newsroom and I got to watch a live newscast both from the control room and standing right behind the camera as she read the teleprompter. I knew this was the field for me, even back then, and I couldn’t stay away. I came back to KHQ when it was time for my senior project to graduate from high school, and once again job shadowed and interviewed Vigil. I had already been accepted to the University of Colorado and declared a Pre-Journalism major.

Once at CU, I was accepted into the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and officially became a broadcast news major. When confronted with the question of where I might want to pursue an internship, KHQ was the only thing that came to mind. I actually had a desk right across from Stephanie Vigil for an entire summer. I wrote copy for what ended up being the other news anchor, but I didn’t mind. The point was that I had done it. I had worked hard, educated myself, and become good enough in the field to be sitting right beside her.

Looking back now, I have no idea what subject I might have wanted to study in college had it now been for Vigil. It wasn’t that I had always wanted to do something on TV, or been extremely interested in journalism before I began to look up to her. I was just any other 8th grader, playing sports and learning how to flirt when BAM! I had chosen my career path. The fact that I then began following the news, practicing my writing and then applying to one of the top Journalism schools in the country came as a direct result of one person sparking the idea in my mind that this was something I too could achieve. And I will. And when I do, I will do it with the knowledge that there might be one other Hispanic female out there watching me, just trying to figure out where she will fit into this world

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