BRIGHTON — Career experts often emphasize not only the need to attain
good grades, but also for hands-on experience in a chosen field. Yet
for the most part, such opportunities as internships don’t arise until
high school or perhaps even college.
In that regard, Emma Neylan and Victoria Waldron are well ahead of
the curve. The eighth-graders at Siena Catholic Academy are already
developing numerous broadcasting skills through their work at a cable
television station in Rochester.
Beginning this past fall, Emma and Victoria have helped produce the
show “Rochester Youth Voice, One Vision” that airs on Rochester
Community TV (Channel 15). Thus far the two 13-year-olds have learned
to use cameras, sound equipment, lighting and other broadcasting
apparatus while also honing their on-air talents. They, along with a
group of several other teens, go out in the community to cover stories
and also do studio broadcasts from Rochester Community TV, a nonprofit
organization located on Gorham Street.
Working under the guidance of paid staff members, the young
broadcasting crew is encouraged to develop its own story ideas. One of
Emma and Victoria’s favorite features was a piece on the Roland
Williams Youth Lifeline Foundation, an organization that helps children
develop skills they will need as an adult. Emma and Victoria assisted
in interviewing Williams, the Rochester football star who won a Super
Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams in 2000.
“Rochester Youth Voice, One Vision” members hope to soon have a
regular time slot on Channel 15. In regard to upcoming features, Emma
said she’s looking to develop a behind-the-scenes profile of TV crews
— focusing, of course, on her fellow members. Meanwhile, Victoria
would like to compile a story featuring youth organizations such as
Girl Scouts that reflect “how they’re involved in the community,” she
said. Both she and Emma, incidentally, belong to the Youth Services
Quality Council of Rochester and Monroe County, a collaborative effort
to ensure quality services for youths and their families.
Emma, who attends St. Mary’s Parish in downtown Rochester, said her
favorite broadcasting role is being a floor director. “I can yell at
everyone and tell them what to do,” she joked.
Meanwhile, Victoria enjoys some aspects of being a
reporter/interviewer, but admits that being in front of a camera is
still a bit scary.
“Bright lights are staring down at you — it’s kind of
overwhelming,” said Victoria, from St. John the Evangelist Parish on
Emma, Victoria and their fellow crew members got involved with
Rochester Community TV through “Biz Kids,” a series of one-week camps
available to city residents to enhance their career interests, mainly
in the business world. However, their involvement with television now
has Emma and Victoria leaning toward possible careers in broadcast
journalism. Victoria noted that she wouldn’t mind someday working for
WOKR Channel 13, which recently profiled the “Rochester Youth Voice,
One Vision” group.
Emma, also, tends to think big. Referring to the grant money her
group is seeking to enhance their production resources, “We want to get
director’s chairs with our names on them … but I don’t think that’s
going to happen,” she remarked cheerfully.