COMMENTARY: My Summer Days at WestfordCAT

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I’ve been spending my summer days volunteering at WestfordCAT.

From the moment I walked in everyone was welcoming and kind. I started off by speaking with Joyce Pellino Crane. When I imagined volunteering at Westford CAT, I saw myself reporting, writing, maybe even anchoring — rather than working on the technology side of things.

Joyce understood this and took me under her wing. Before my first day even started, I had a story. I was going to be covering the Lights for Liberty Vigil and Rally the next day! I was so excited, but also nervous to be going out as a real reporter. I was given a press pass, and reporter’s journal and that night I got to work.

Being a reporter was so interesting because I interviewed and spoke with so many passionate people. Learning what it was like to be a reporter was great because I got useful experience and saw my interviews on screen in the newscasts and online stories.

Meanwhile, at WestfordCAT I’ve been attending the weekly staff meetings, and I am learning more and more about reporting, writing and how WestfordCAT runs.

I got to write a public service announcement about staying safe during a heatwave and even got my own byline.

I then started a story on SSPA, the Summer School for the Performing Arts. I went there on my own and took pictures, videos and did many interviews with the staff and students. I then got to talk in front of the camera as a newscaster. On camera I reported about the Summer School for the Performing Arts and I spoke about some activities to do around town. I practiced, using a script, then I read from a teleprompter as the cameras recorded my presentation.

Using a teleprompter for the first time was difficult but intriguing. I messed up many times, but when I finally got it right, timing, words and all, it was very rewarding.