Report by Jennifer McCrate
Jupiter Community High School
View Photos from Youth Media Day
Passion was the theme of the day. No matter where we went, or who we spoke with, all conveyed the same message: professional enthusiasm is the key to success.
Whether we were at the Palm Beach Post or G-Star School of the Arts, the professionals who spoke with us found their work fun and rewarding. Regardless of how demanding the task, each still loved what they did.
AJ Brockman is the perfect example. He was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Dystrophy in childhood, and has been wheelchair-bound since. While such a challenge is daunting, he manages to overcome the limitations imposed on him and pursue what he loves-- art. With only the mobility of a single finger, he creates uniquely amazing works of digital art. His story shows us that it is not what one is given that makes the difference, but what one does with what has been given. Such dedication is truly inspiring; it exemplifies what each and every one of us strives to be, and guides us as we prepare to make our own career choices. His story made an impression on many of us, including George Donaldson of The Benjamin School, who said that A.J. was "his favorite speaker" and "redefined success" for him.
We also gained a greater appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into the media industry. In order to keep up with the times, deadlines must be met, interviews conducted, information gathered—all in time for the morning paper or daily broadcast that much of the public takes for granted. Touring backstage at WPBF News Channel 25, meeting the people who work every day to make Clear Channel radio fun and entertaining, speaking with Channel 5 sportscaster Jason Pugh, and listening to the panelists at The Palm Beach Post impressed upon us all of the time and energy required to run a successful business.
I know I speak for us all when I say that we are extremely fortunate to be part of Youth Leadership Palm Beach County, and to have met such dedicated professionals in our community on Media Day. If Thursday provided any indication of future meetings, I have no doubt that the Youth Leadership Palm Beach County program will be an invaluable experience.