Getting One Step Closer To A Dream

Kimberly Hara, Student Journalist

Waking up to a 4:30 alarm set to the tune of “Price Tag” by Jessie Jay was definitely not what I had in mind when I signed up for GRAMMY Camp. But today was not just any normal day in the life of GRAMMY Camp students. KTLA Morning News was coming to the Carson Hall at USC to film us! Various students from different tracks all woke up at the break of dawn in order to look their best. We rushed into the bathrooms to wash and wake ourselves up. Only having four hours of sleep and running on a few bites of an energy bar I was finally ready. Right at 5:00 I walked outside with several other Music Journalism classmates and met up with the rest of the KTLA student participants.  The sun had not risen as we stood outside in the cold morning air excited and nervous at the same time not knowing what to expect at the shoot. After a five-minute drive through the empty campus and almost falling off the yellow cargo cart we arrived at Carson Hall. 

The first things I saw were two blue KTLA news vans that had controls and screens inside.  When all of us walked inside the hall the band was already set up and there was a camera man testing the lighting. KTLA’s Allie Mackay, who would be covering the shoot, walked over to group of GRAMMY Camp faculty and then my name was called. I was never expecting what would have happened next! They asked me if I could do one of three segments that they were going to shoot live. The first thing that went through my mind was “ARE YOU SERIOUS?! ME?!” When I came to my senses and realized what an amazing opportunity this would be I became thrilled that they had asked. This would be my very first time being broadcasted on live TV while showing off my journalism skills. They handed me the microphone with the logo and everything and boy did that feel great. I stood in front of the camera in between the two lead vocalists and next to Mackay. Before I knew it I was live, standing on TV asking questions and being a reporter for the first time. 

When my segment had finished I found myself come to a realization that this was truly what I wanted to become and the whole experience just made me want to reach my goal even more. I immediately received texts from both my parents who told me I made them proud. It was the best feeling in the world. Fellow Music Journalism students Drew Shwendiman and Nicole Powell also were given the chance to do segments as well.  Words cannot even explain how grateful I am to the GRAMMY Foundation for putting together a program that gives their kids great opportunities that they would have never received if it did not exist. Today was one of the most memorable moments in my life, which I will never forget. Hopefully it leads me one step closer to my dream.

In the Spotlight

Lani Renaldo



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