PBS selects visual journalist for Reporting Academy


Ivy Hansen

JVTV junior Kaleb Velez sets up LED lights for a promotional shoot for Jersey Village English teacher Holly Charles. Velez was among 25 students across the country selected to attend and participate in the PBS Student Reporting Labs Academy from June 22-28 in Washington D.C., where he will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content.

Being selected as one of the 25 students across the country, Kaleb Velez, junior, from Jersey Village High School, was awarded an all-paid expenses trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the PBS Student Reporting Labs Academy from June 22 to June 28 this summer.

The SRL helps gives an opportunity to student journalists to build critical-thinking, problem- solving, and communication skills. In the SRL academy, Velez will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content.

Kaleb Velez is part of the JVTV student reporting lab and as a first year member, he was given the title of student director. He directed two episodes of “What’s Up Falcons,” filmed sports packages for the district sports show, “Beyond the Score,” and created a professional promotion for a JVHS English teacher, Holly Charles. Velez also worked most football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball games, while also directing and filming nationwide PBS packages. He also organized and set up the school’s annual Fine Arts Festival and filmed the Gold Duster spring show.

Ivy Hansen
Adjusting a camera angle junior Kaleb Velez prepares for a shoot. In landing a spot in the PBS Student Reporting Labs Academy, Velez earned an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. to work alongside public media mentors.

“He is one of the strongest leaders I have ever worked with. Velez is always the first to volunteer to work events or learn new skills. He is an excellent teacher and mentor to other students, and he is very dedicated and passionate,” Brandy Milson, video production teacher, said.

As part of the application process, not only was his work looked over for frame, composition, and editing skills, Velez was asked to submit a video to showcase his personality. He was asked to answer the hard-hitting question – “Why should they chose him?”

Ivy Hansen
In his first year with the Jersey Village Television student reporting lab Kaleb Velez, junior, serves as the student director.

“I think that a lot of people are often too consumed with capturing the big stories. They want to catch the next Watergate scandal or the next big thing. I think that often the stories that are just as important to us individually is the stories about everyday ordinary people, because those ordinary people aren’t often never ordinary. They do amazing things and I feel I am more interested in that and I feel that sets me apart from others,” Velez said.

Excited to return with a new perspective and knowledge, Velez has great hopes for the future.

“I am ecstatic to learn more about journalism and different techniques on reporting a story. I feel pretty lucky that they gave me this opportunity and let me into the program,” Velez said.