I was chosen to be a Boys Hope Girls Hope Scholar in December, 2015. As a scholar, I have been exposed to a bunch of new challenges. One of those challenges was our summer journalism course. The focus for our summer project was for each scholar to find and interview a member of the Aurora community and then write a short biography of their life. We are going to publish them into a book titled The Humans of Aurora. In our summer classes, we focused on the idea that everyone has a story. That theme was something we tried to incorporate into the book. We learned that in order to make a good interview happen the interviewer has to have good questions to ask, and a good plan on how and when to ask the interviewee certain questions. We learned you don’t want to start off with the most personal question, you want to get a few basic questions and then build to the harder questions.
For my biography I chose to interview a veteran from the Vietnam War named Joseph. Some of my classmates and I interviewed other veterans at the G.I. Forum near the Broncos Stadium in Denver. Joseph talked to me about his experiences in the war and how life was for him when the war was over. He also shared some advice on how important an education is for me to be successful in my future.
The most difficult part of this course was when I had to sit down and write my biography from the notes I had taken during the interview. I didn’t know how to start the interview off, but I eventually got help from staff and a very special guest, Ms. Donna Bryson from the Associated Press, which really helped me get started on my biography.
Ms. Bryson talked to our class towards the end of the course and she helped us with writing styles and story introductions. Ms. Bryson has been to South Africa during apartheid, to Egypt, the United Kingdom and all over the United States, among many other places in her incredible career. She taught us that everyone has something unique about themselves and if you ask the right questions you will find that interesting story.
I can’t wait to see the published book! Stay tuned for more on our project. Hopefully you can join us when we celebrate the book and our interviewees.