Velez named PBS Student Reporting Labs Journalist of the year

Working+with+a+peer%2C+Kaleb+Velez%2C+senior%2C+exemplifies+his+eagerness+to+work+and+share+his+new+ideas+pertaining+to+PBS.+%E2%80%9CWhen+I+found+out+that+I+was+one+of+the+PBS+journalists+of+the+year%2C+I+nearly+jumped+out+of+my+seat+in+English.+I+was+so+excited%2C+a+wave+of+emotions+passed+over+me.+It%E2%80%99s+an+incredible+honor%2C+and+I%E2%80%99m+so+grateful+to+PBS+for+giving+me+this+award%2C%E2%80%9D+Velez+said.

Jackie Orozco

Working with a peer, Kaleb Velez, senior, exemplifies his eagerness to work and share his new ideas pertaining to PBS. “When I found out that I was one of the PBS journalists of the year, I nearly jumped out of my seat in English. I was so excited, a wave of emotions passed over me. It’s an incredible honor, and I’m so grateful to PBS for giving me this award,” Velez said.

Beau Brittain and Sierra Rickerson

Student journalist, Kaleb Velez, senior, is being named one of PBS Student Reporting Labs Journalists of the Year. Velez has earned this award after making a name for himself with his extensive work with JVTV and Student Reporting Labs.

Student Reporting Labs, also known as SRL, gives high school student journalists the opportunity to gain experience in the broadcast news industry, as they report on local based stories from their communities. These stories are then aired locally on PBS member stations around the country, and nation-wide on the nightly broadcast of the PBS NewsHour.

These students, from across the country, are able to expand their work, and skills, beyond their schools. Velez is one of thousands of students who partake in SRL, but his work caught the attention of many for its uniqueness and creativity.

“He looks for alternative angles, stories others aren’t telling. As a director, he has a vision and does what is needed to accomplish that vision. I cannot wait until you guys see what he is working on now. His dedication to quality is what is most remarkable about him,” Brandy Milson, JVTV adviser, said.

Jackie
With his eyes concentrating on the computer screen, Kaleb Velez, senior, works on his latest JVTV project. Valez has devoted many hours to the program and working even more with PBS Student Reporting Labs. His extensive work has earned him the honor of being named on of PBS’ Student Journalists of the Year. “He looks for alternative angles. Stories others aren’t telling. As a director, he has a vision and does what is needed to accomplish that vision. I cannot wait to till you guys see what he is working on now. His dedication to quality is what is most remarkable about him,” Brandy Milson, JVTV adviser, said.

The role of a journalist is to tell the stories that people need to hear. Telling the truth, even when the truth hurts, and letting the public make up their mind about it. Velez understands the value of great journalism and he wants to help the public make up their mind by telling the stories of people that might not ever be told.

“What truly inspires me to work hard in my journalism is all the people I meet with interesting stories to tell. Without them, there is no story to tell. Some of these people go completely unnoticed their whole lives despite their fascinating life story,” Velez said.

Velez’s work has flourished during his time at the high school, but his passion for journalism and cinematography began years ago. His fascination for storytelling attracted him to the journalism industry.

“When I was young, I developed a love for stories. Hearing stories, telling stories, the whole nine yards. Being a journalist provides me with the opportunity to not only hear more fascinating, real life stories, but also to tell them to the public.

Helping fellow practicum student, Mayra Garcia, senior, finish up the remainder of her documentary Kaleb Velez, senior, radiates the energy of his passion for editing through his teamwork and determination with others. Velez has been named one of PBS’ Student Journalists of the Year. “It’s been an incredible experience watching [Kaleb] grow over the last year through student reporting labs. [He] is creative, smart, and resilient; constantly striving for excellence and originality in all his storytelling and journalism projects. [He] has emerged as a true SRL leader and have contributed to some of our most innovative youth media content.” Elias Estrada, the National Director of the Student Reporting Labs, said.

Velez’s work continues to leave his teachers and peers in awe. When it comes to journalism and video graphing Velez puts his best foot forward, sharing the stories he covers.

“Kaleb has a strong vision for the stories he wants to tell. He is not satisfied with mediocre work or telling cliché stories. He has the curiosity of an investigative journalist, the charisma of an anchor, and the heart of a director. He is also extremely intelligent and has sharp wit which gives his stories a strong point of view. I fully expect him to be very successful in the industry. I cannot wait to see what he does next,” Milson said.

The National Director of the Student Reporting Labs, Elis Estrada, has praised Velez for the contributions he has made to the organization. She cites his impeccable work and talent as the reason for being named one of the Journalists of the Year.

“It’s been an incredible experience watching [Kaleb] grow over the last year through student reporting labs. [He] is creative, smart, and resilient; constantly striving for excellence and originality in all his storytelling and journalism projects. [He] has emerged as a true SRL leader and has contributed to some of our most innovative youth media content,” Estrada said.