One Year at the Advance

I can't believe it's already been one year since I've been working at the Staten Island Advance/SILive.com. It has been such a great experience.

 Here are 12 of my favorite stories I've worked on over the past year (one for each month):

1. A personal project that I've wanted to pursue for a long time:

2. The most fun I have ever had covering an event:

3. That time I got obsessed with a vacant prison and needed to know more:

4. The closest I've ever been to a bald eagle and the nicest woman I've ever met:

5. That time I was sent to do a profile on a high school football player, and uncovered a different narrative (and then it was nominated for an Emmy):

6. The weirdest story I've ever worked on:

7. When my manager said "so apparently there's this guy that has a lot of hair in his garage...":

8. When I filmed a dirty beach & Erik wrote an awesome story and then Senator Schumer actually did something about it:

9. The silliest story I've ever worked on:

10. One of my favorite team assignments:

11. The first time I made an on-camera appearance... and had to throw hatchets:

12. And ending on my favorite place I've gotten to explore - the bell tower (and this adorable father-son moment):

Thanks for a great year, SILive.com!

NY Emmy Nomination

I'm so excited to share that God's Plan has been nominated for a New York Emmy award. 

In the beginning of June 2017, I got an assignment to make a video about Amad Anderson Jr., a college football recruit and star wide receiver at Curtis High School on Staten Island. After receiving his contact information, I called Amad to set up a time for me to come to his home and interview him. 

A sports editor at the Advance mentioned to me that he thought Amad's father played football in the past, but he didn't know much information about it. It was one of my questions to ask during the interview.

While I was interviewing Amad Jr. for the first time, I asked him about his motivation for playing football, and he mentioned in passing that his dad was shot in college, but now he is living his father's dream. 

It caught me off guard. You know when you're going to tell one story, and then suddenly in a split second the story goes in a completely different direction? That's what happened.

One minute, I was doing a profile piece on a great high school football player, and the next, I'm uncovering a story about a father who also lived a football dream that came crumbling down when he was shot his senior year of college. It grew into a story about this bond between the two of them, and how Amad Jr. is on his way to living his father's dream. 

I spent weeks filming Amad Jr. at his football games and practices and hearing Amad Sr.'s story of the 1999 incident when he was shot. One day, I called Amad Sr. and asked if he had any photos of him from when he used to play and he said that he only had a few. I told him I'd come over the following day to see them. 

When I arrived at the Anderson residence, the entire living room was covered with photos. He had boxes of photos of his entire football career, award plaques, and Hofstra yearbooks. His eyes lit up when he was looking at his memories.

Then he pulled out an article from the box. It was the 1999 article from Newsday with the headline "Hofstra's Anderson Counts His Blessings." He still had the article about the bullet which shattered his career. 

Even though he never had the opportunity to become a professional football player, he was able to play in college and in an Arena league. 

Amad Sr. pushes and supports Amad Jr. to be the best player and person he can be, but it's ultimately Amad Jr.'s decision to want to pursue this. He loves the game and is very excited to now be playing college ball at Purdue University. 

It's such an honor to be nominated, but out of all of the projects I've worked on, I'm so glad it's this one. Their story deserve the recognition.

 Screenshot from SILive.com's article about the Emmy nomination.

Screenshot from SILive.com's article about the Emmy nomination.

See the full SILive.com article here. 

View all of the NY Emmy Award nominations here.