You're originally from the Dominican Republic, and you moved when you were 12. Did you speak English when you moved here?
No. My father is a teacher, and he actually moved to the United States well before we did. I think I was about two-years-old when he decided that he was going to try out for the American dream. He was able to bring his family over 10 years later. It was very frustrating for me being in an English-language school and not understanding anyone. So, I think subconsciously in my quest to try to understand people, I worked towards making sure I understood the language. I enrolled myself in adult English classes at Providence College. I signed up for debate classes in middle school. I was very proactive in learning the language, because it was very frustrating to be in a country where you don't know the customs, and you don't know the language, you can find yourself quite lost very fast.
At what point did you decide you wanted to pursue journalism as a career?
I was 14, and I remember trying out for the schools closed circuit television station called WSHS. They broadcasted during homeroom. So, I auditioned for the show, and I thought it's be fun and a good way to learn how to communicate better. They only had an opening for a sports reporter and said 'Okay, you can do that.' My first assignment was to do a story about the renovations in McCoy Stadium. That was around 1999, when they got a Jumbotron, which was a huge deal for an AAA team. I showed up with a photographer, who was also 14, and we found ourselves getting a private tour of MCCoy Stadium. I had this 'aha!' moment where I understood what it meant to be a journalist, and the importance it carried at that age and how I got a front row seat to history. Here I was getting a tour of McCoy Stadium at 14-years-old, and I think that's when I caught the bug. I continued on after that, and by the time of my senior year, I was an anchor and executive producer of the show.
What's been your proudest moment since you've started your career in journalism?
Getting a job at The Weather Channel! You know, to get a call from Sam Champion. It blows my mind even saying it now, and I'm a little shell-shocked. I think that would be the most proud moment. I was in a small market in Western Massachusetts, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be picked up by a network -- especially a network that I grew up watching.
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