Last night I found an old video on a cheap little camera of mine. I’m in Joshua Tree on a camping trip, approaching my fifth-grade classmates and interviewing them each in turn. “What’s your name?” I ask. “What do you like doing – what are your hobbies?” Looking back, I realize I’ve always been a reporter.
My first real interview was with Jane Goodall some four years earlier when she came and visited my school in Bali. A few of the best students in the second-grade class, myself included, were selected to ask her questions about her conservation work.
In the sixth grade, I applied for a Scholastic Kids Reporter program after spotting an ad in a magazine. Once accepted, I began covering all kinds of stories and interviewing all kinds of people. Among those I spoke to (or listened to in press conferences) were screenwriters the Russo brothers, actor and writer Chris Colfer, director Rob Marshall, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, America’s Got Talent winner Darci Lynn Farmer, JoJo Siwa (no explanation needed), Congressional Representative Julia Brownley, and the casts of Captain Marvel, Avengers Endgame, Mary Poppins, Coco, and Young Sheldon. I even got to see Zendaya and John Cena in the flesh. Scholastic was quite possibly one of the highlights of my life.
^ My first interview for Scholastic. I was so nervous I mispronounced my own name when introducing myself.