Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Small School, Small World. Big-time PRIDE!

I saw someone I almost, sort of, know on TV tonight!

And it was on the national news, CBS Evening Reports, no less.

I had just flicked through the channels and managed to pull up the tail-end of the Evening News on CBS and there was an interview ongoing that, catching it in mid-stream, I had no clue what it was about and really wasn't that interested either since I had clicked it on close to the end of the broadcast. I was just going to wait and see what news followed this piece, ya know.

When suddenly, something caught my eye!

The reporter was interviewing a lady and at the bottom of the screen, they flashed her name and affiliation.

Shawn Hubler, Former reporter for the LA Times.

Hmmmm. Why did that name ring a bell with me?

By that time, the broadcast was ending, the wheels of my mind were churning away though as I tried to think why that name was familiar to me.

And then it hit me!

I follow her column that she writes for a paper in Orange County, California!

I've never met this lady but she's originally from this area.

And, how do I know that and how did I come to add her column to my reader on my computer?

Well, because of a friend of mine on Facebook who had made some comment a while back about this lady and somewhere in that mix, I had then found her column -through this other Facebook friend.

Seems this lady graduated from the local high school here and she had been, apparently still is, a good, old school days friend of my Facebook friend!

I sent Cindy -my Facebook friend -a message asking if she'd happened to see tonight's broadcast of the CBS Evening News because her friend, Shawn Hubler, had been interviewed on there tonight. I told her too that I had no clue what the topic was about but perhaps she could find the video on the computer by checking out the CBS News Website.

Then I thought, well why can't I do that too? And, if the video is on there, I can then send Cindy the website so she can access it and enjoy seeing it too.

Which is exactly what I did.

And that's when I learned what the story was about.

It was actually a story within a story.

Seems two reporters at the LA Times had been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting -a feat within itself, ya know. But the lady from our school wasn't part of that part of the story. Rather, she was part of the back story behind one of the two award-winning reporters.

The younger of the two reporters was a native of Guatamala whose mother had come here and working in California as a domestic worker. She -and her son -were both illegal immigrants. The young man didn't even know until he was about 14-15 years old that he was here illegally.

But when he was around 17-18 years old, about to graduate from high school, his mother -who worked for two other LA Times Reporters -asked them for help in getting her son a green card.

They did that and then some. They also got him a job as a copy boy at the Times.

Some where along the way then, the young man evidently went to college, graduated and was employed then by the Times as a reporter and that's how he came to be working with this other reporter on this huge story that they broke about corruption in the telephone company system in California.

And that story led to them winning a Pulitzer Prize.

Pretty cool deal there, don't 'cha think?

Kind of a bit like that game about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but with a somewhat different angle.

Now I can say that I know someone, who is good friends with someone, who helped a young immigrant get his green card, an education, job and now, after only being a reporter for three years, was also a Pulitzer Prize winning writer!

Who says that people who graduated from West Branch Area High School in rural central Pennsylvania aren't darned good and intelligent people now?

I think this is the best "small world" kind of story I've come across in a long time and one that shines a really nice light then too in the background on our local school district.

I know I'm really proud to tell everyone on the blogosphere about this little story, that's for sure!

Now tell the truth, wouldn't you be proud to talk about this event too?

And for those interested in reading more about this broadcast, here's the url to the CBS Evening News Site so you can see the interview and read the story behind the story!;photovideo

Wonder how many other folks from the West Branch School District saw the interview tonight and realized that the lady being interviewed was an alum of our high school here?


HalfCrazy said...

A story within a story and a friend within the networks of a friend? That sounds like Inception to me without the dreaming. Haha!

The Pulitzer Prize is indeed one heck of an honor.

Just seeing schoolmates and friends on TV or on paper makes my skin crawl!

Debbie said...

That is a great story! And yes, I would feel like I had a brush with fame if I were you.

TechnoBabe said...

Bringing it closer to home, our online home, I am really proud of how you worked this out, did the research, got the link, and shared this amazing story with us in your blog. Right on, Jeni!

terri said...

What a great small-world story. You have every right to be proud.