What is your occupation and academic background and how did you come to work in this field?
Caribbean Correspondent, Senior Haiti Reporter Miami Herald; I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Mass Communication; I began my journalistic career as a 14-year-old high school intern at The Miami Herald. Four years later, I was among three high school graduates nationwide selected for the Knight-Ridder Scholarship, which included a paid newspaper internship every summer while in college and a guaranteed job after graduation.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Theoretically I am responsible for more than a dozen countries — Haiti plus the English-speaking Caribbean. The biggest challenge is keeping on top of news, identifying regional trend and finding interesting angles to inform readers many of whom are from the region and often think they know all there is to know about their respective country.
Identify one or two of your proudest achievements?
In recent years I’ve received many honors including a local Emmy — alongside my colleagues — for our work on the Haiti documentary, Nou Bouke; and 2010 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. But the proudest moments are being part of the team whose work was recognized as a Finalist in Breaking News by the Pulitzer Committee for our work on the Haiti earthquake (it was the first year the Pulitzer Committee did not name a winner and The Miami Herald was recognized alongside another paper); and the opportunities I have had over the years to mentor young aspiring minority students who want to become journalists through my work as a teacher at the summer University of Miami/Dow Jones high school journalism workshop.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully in ten years Haiti will be doing so well that the good news of progress won’t require that much attention and I can be writing about other subject matters.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have impact?
Find mentors, believe in your goal and work hard at it; working hard means learning what it is needed to succeed and identify the next steps. Also join professional organizations, they are a great source not just for job referrals but for mentorship.
Would you recommend NAHP to Haitian students and professionals? Why?
Well as a reporter, we are not allowed to endorse organizations or individuals. I would say that I believe professional organizations are important assets to have no matter the career choice.