Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Radio show gives validation

I still remember when a teacher at my middle school told me I was really articulate for a Latino.

It sort of took me by surprise that someone would say something like that, but it’s stuck with me since.

My parents are attorneys, and so naturally I grew up arguing and talking all the time. They immigrated from Latin American countries to the United States, and learned English at a young age. These were challenges my sister and I never had, but for some reason having a last name of “Lopez” made us susceptible to comments like my teacher made.

But experiences like today on the radio show make me proud of who I am and how I was raised. It makes me proud to have gone on with my classmates Alaa and Tashan, both of whom have persevered through similar experiences of their own to become confident story tellers, and, perhaps most importantly, human beings.

I’ll speak for myself in saying that the best part of being on the radio show was hearing Mr. Carter say that I did a good job articulating one of my answers to a question. For all that Mr. Carter does to make things hard for us, it took that moment to sense just how much he cares about our futures. It was as if the experience I had in middle school was now invalidated, gone as quickly as the donuts disappeared on national donut day at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Being on the radio is something I will likely be able to do in my future, but there won’t be another experience like SJI.

— Christopher Lopez