Stories of Champions

Project: Research project

Project Details


Stories of Champions Stories of Champions Arizona PBS, as a unit within the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, functions as a teaching hospital model for up and coming journalists. These journalists on the Cronkite News team, along with the experienced team from Arizona PBS Horizon and Horizonte public affairs programming will create original profiles of American Graduates who have served as positive mentors in the community. The profiles crafted into interstitials will promote national American Graduate Day on the main channel and encourage other likeminded individuals to share their stories with Arizona PBS through social media channels. Directly, one million viewers will see the interstitials aired throughout the month timeline and over 100,000 recipients of targeted email messages from both the main station and educational outreach areas. Additionally viewers will be exposed to the content through social media and web outlets. Potential stories of successful mentors include Cronkite graduates, Native American first generation high school and college graduates, and teen mentoring other teens in a variety of community settings. Each of these individuals represent resilience and leadership within their peer groups and as examples for others to persevere through high school and college. They also take the time to help those in their communities achieve similar educational and career goals. Joseph Fuentes is a 7th and 8th grade math teacher in Garfield School district. As a former child of the system Bernal feels like its his responsibility to help other kids figure out how to navigate the low troughs of their lives. Hes open with his students about growing up without parents and spending years as a foster child. Fuentes helps his students find tools to navigate their own troubles not only with empathy but with experience. Carla is a dreamer who refuses to blend into the background. Shes started an exercise and apparel company where she mentors other Hispanics to be healthy and stay strong. Carla says her Latino culture often encourages unhealthy habits and body images. Even as other DACA youth stay hidden Carla is front and center promoting her message to be strong physically and mentally. Marina Gonzales knows that over the kids in her community of Guadalupe wont graduate from High School. Thats why she started an after school tutoring program where the children of this largely Yaqui Indian community can come and get the push they need to stay in school. Gonzales knows that education is the key to escaping the cycle of poverty, so every day youll find her gently guiding students of all ages through their school work as she works to improve the lives of her fellow Yaquis. Three individuals specifically have had experiences in which Arizona PBS has affected their careers. First, the host of Arizona PBS Books & Co. is Dr. Alberto Rios, Arizonas Inaugural Poet Laureate, works as a professor at Arizona State University, hosts a series on our local main channel, and interacts with students of all ages on behalf of his Poet Laureate status. A native Arizonan, and Spanish native speaker, he came from very humble beginnings, was one of the first to finish higher education in his family. He not only mentors college students, but K-12 students throughout his statewide work. Currently his original poem about the United States Borderlands is featured in U2s international concert tour. Dr. Martha Munoz, is another leader and mentor in the early childhood field who inspires and mentors on a daily basis. Martha began her education as a Head Start student and continued in school to receive her doctorate in education. Today she teaches for Northern Arizona University and has conducted several leadership seminars with our Arizona PBS/ First Things First early childhood cohorts in southwestern Arizona. Finally, Jeff Halberg is Production Services Manager at Arizona PBS. For decades, has mentored students in all facets of studio production. His students finish college because they are engaged and motivated daily on the job to complete real-world tasks in tandem with completing college coursework. Alumni Arizona PBS student production staff hold jobs and serve as leaders in their field throughout the US. The Arizona PBS educational outreach team will help promote these stories and American Graduate Day at numerous locations throughout the state of Arizona including public, private, and charter schools, early education centers, and institutes of higher education. Our team of 7 educators, along with our Arizona PBS Digital Innovators will provide promotional bookmarks and flyers to encourage involvement in sharing stories of mentorship online.
Effective start/end date6/28/1711/14/17


  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB): $7,500.00


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