SRL Connected Educator of the Month: June
Omar Delgado heads up one of SRL’s newest Labs in Miami Florida. This year, Delgado led his students at Christopher Columbus High School through award-winning productions for SRL. Most recently, his students won a Suncoast Regional Emmy for their video about a law enforcement high school, produced for SRL’s Making it Work Series. Delgado also helped students produce two great pieces for SRL’s Power In Numbers assignment. The majority of his students’ pieces have also aired on South Florida PBS. Delgado’s professionalism and ability to create a positive environment for students is impressive and admirable, and his school has prospered from it.
What is your teaching philosophy when it comes to storytelling?
I believe that my students’ voices should be heard. Once they have an idea about a story, I give them some feedback on how to attack it, but I leave the storyboarding to them. It’s important for them to find their way and tell the story that they want to tell. As long as it is well-researched and factual, I am happy with the product.
How can student journalism help promote a greater understanding of the world?
I really believe that when young people get their information from student journalists, it just resonates better. Although professionals do an excellent job at reporting world matters, their target audience isn’t really 13-18-year-olds. Student journalists seem to know how to relate the material better to their peers.
How can we get youth more interested in the news?
I really think that they are already interested in it. They just don’t have a real outlet to get their news from. I will never forget when I was in high school, I loved watching Channel One news. That was the first time I was exposed to Anderson Cooper and Lisa Ling. I always loved how they presented the news to me and follow their careers to this day. When my students produce our live daily show I often times remind them that this might be the only outlet our students are getting their news from, and we must be respectful of the job we are doing.
What would life look like without public media?
A world without public media is a world I really don’t want to live in. We need free public resources we can trust to maintain the government and society we have become accustomed to. It is important now more than ever to be truthful and accessible— Especially since the media is being attacked so vehemently.
What do you hope to accomplish with SRL?
I want to have my students get a different point of view on their stories. Sometimes I think my voice becomes repetitive to them; having the mentors at SRL teach and help them correct their mistakes is a very valuable resource, and I am very lucky to have it.