A Talk with Professional Journalists

Walter Perez and Jeannette Reyes Visit Esperanza
Posted on 02/25/2020
It is always inspiring to meet people living the life you dream of. On Friday, February 21st, Walter Perez and Jeannette Reyes visited Esperanza to speak with our Film and Journalism students. Both Perez and Reyes are extremely accomplished broadcast journalists for 6ABC, one of the top news station in Philadelphia. They shared insights not only into their careers but their lives as well, while encouraging students that they too can be successful with their dreams.

To start, Perez spoke about the importance of vision and goals. He had several friends who upon entering college knew the exact vision of their future and then attained it. Of course, it is okay for someone to not know exactly what they want to do, but it is very important to find mentors who can offer wisdom and honesty. These friends had adults helping them shape their goals.

Walter Perez and Jeannette Reyes

Reyes continued the talk with a very personal story, sharing the importance of giving your all for the people who have invested in you. She had several people take time to invest in her financially and personally to guide her to finish her degree in Broadcast Journalism. During high school she was facing a very real threat of homelessness, but through her and her parents’ hard work, she was able to start college. Her mom had told her if she were ever to need to leave school, make sure there was a void in her wake. As the financial situation became more grim, several people at the school took note and made sure that she would be able to stay, offering to cover her debt. Her parents were her main inspiration, as they worked immensely hard to allow her to pursue higher education. Both broadcasters encouraged our students to do their best, taking advantage of the opportunities given to them and by so doing, honoring those who have given much for their well-being.

At the end of the talk, they answered students’ questions like, “what has been your most embarrassing moment as a journalist,” and “what is the hardest thing about being a journalist?” They shared funny stories of making mistakes on air, but then the room took a somber note as they shared the hardship of seeing some of the worst parts of humanity and evil. Perez had reported at the scene of the 9-11 terror attacks in New York and had to report several live shots a day while also dealing with his own emotional trauma of recounting and seeing this event. He mentioned the supreme value of having honest mentors in your life as well as his faith for grounding him. Reyes also spoke about removing the stigma around therapy. Therapy has been her way of processing the difficult things she sees on the job and is a way to stay grounded.

We are so appreciative to these two incredible journalists for coming to share their wisdom and experience with our students. We know our students and staff were encouraged to hear firsthand about their career, their passion, and their perseverance. We hope our students also cast their vision for the future and remember that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to.