SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - For some, finding a professional path in life can take some time. James Villalobos, who wants to become a TV network reporter, is not one of those people.
"A lot of people ask me why do you want to become a journalist so badly. There's just too much negativity. I remember the story of the deaf 3-year-old boy who heard his father's voice for the first time. People see stories like that and say 'oh my God finally.' Why does it have to be like that? Shouldn't we have to see a positive story every day?" said 22News scholarship recipient James Villalobos.
The Central High School graduate plans to attend UMass Amherst in the fall and aspires to change the industry's culture. He accepted the 22News scholarship and was among four student recipients who were honored by the Valley Press Club in Springfield on Saturday. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship.
Pittsfield native Al Jaffe was the first to receive this scholarship back in 1964. He is now the senior vice president for talent negotiation and recruitment at ESPN. "I think it's important to pay forward and pay back. I come each year and give a scholarship to a person who's going into journalism," said Jaffe who presented his own scholarship.
The students also got a chance to network with industry professionals like Dr. Marsha Della-Giustina, who delivered the keynote speech.
She was one of the first women producers in Boston and now works as an associate professor of Journalism at Emerson College.
"It is an honorable profession, there's still lots to do. Today you have to be a multimedia journalist, you have to do it all. I'm looking forward to meeting these young people and seeing what their plans are," said Dr. Della-Giustina.
All of the students will be entering college in the fall and pursuing degrees in journalism. All with the hope they one day end up working inside a studio like ours here at 22News.