Thursday, September 30, 2010
Meet the fall interns

 

Hey iReportland,
You’ll notice a couple new faces on CNN iReport this fall. Meet Stephanie and Neil, our two new interns. We asked them to introduce themselves, so here goes:

 

Stephanie Junca

 

I’m currently a student at Georgia State University studying for a BFA in Photography hoping to graduate in May of 2011. In 2007, I graduated with a BA in Journalism with a minor in English.

 

I have interned with Atlanta weekly newspaper Creative Loafing twice, as an editorial intern in 2007 and a photo intern in 2010. For two years I worked for the Georgia State University student-run newspaper called The Signal; first as a photographer and then as a production assistant. I also did some contributing writing for a small magazine called the Fayette Woman.

 

In my free time I like to travel to various parts of the country, specifically Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Louis, Missouri, where some of my closest friends reside. Every Halloween I go to Salem, Massachusetts, with a group of friends where we dress up in group costume: first year was Wizard of Oz; this year we’re planning on doing Disney princesses (I’ll be Pocahontas).

 

I also enjoy working with animals either as a volunteer at the Atlanta Humane Society or with pets of my friends, my family, or my own. In the past, I’ve had turtles, fish, snakes, birds, cats, dogs and even a hedgehog. Right now I have a cat named Paprika and I had a hedgehog named Chippie but I had to give her away because of USDA rules in Georgia.

 

I’m somewhat of a book nerd and a computer geek. I tend to get absorbed into anything in book form, but I really don’t like the new “book” gadgets such as the iPad or the Kindle. I love Apple computers and really enjoy messing around on Adobe CS. My friends and family tend to come to me with computer trouble, and I have even taught one-on-one computer classes.

 

My background is somewhat interesting. My parents are both Colombian and have known each other since they were children. My dad moved to New York City when he was 19 and my mother moved there when she was 26. I was born in Flushing, Queens, but only lived there for about one year. We moved to Bartlett, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and lived there for 11 years until we moved to a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, called Peachtree City. I have now been living there for almost 13 years this December.

 

Neil Hieatt

My road to this internship position at CNN iReport is long and winding, but here I am!

 

I grew up in the Midwest – Nebraska to be precise. Some say I’m corn fed, but one look at my tall, lanky skeleton might make you think otherwise. I attribute my straight face and often unabashed use of sarcasm to be the result of growing up in the Midwest, a place where unpredictable weather and centuries of farming the land has forced its inhabitants to be honest and resilient. I found my sarcasm and stone face to be difficult to shed upon my move to Arizona.

 

I was about to begin my sophomore year in high school when we moved to the Southwest. It was hard to leave my childhood home at such a pivotal time in my adolescence, but I soon realized that the warm weather of the desert was just as welcoming as the people who populate its harshly beautiful terrain. My years in the desert were very influential in my life. There, I made some of my closest friends and found my interest in film and video, but the desire to further my college education and pursue a career working with media led me to leave the desert and find my first love: Austin, Texas.

 

You may have heard the phrase “Keep Austin Weird.” I guarantee, you don’t need to try to keep Austin weird, it just is. But from its weirdness came a huge sense of normalcy. It’s just like any other city in the U.S. Austin is professors and students, doctors and lawyers, politicians and musicians. It is urban renewal and subdivisions, ranches and high rises, apartments and mansions. In the places I’ve lived, I’ve learned that all cities are the same. What sets them apart from one another is soul, and Austin has plenty of soul. It’s a place where one, like me, can really explore and find themselves. You can be as driven or lethargic as you please, but no matter what you will be happy at the end of the day. But there comes a time where things need to change.

 

And for me, I was changing. I had begun working in different forms of media other than film and video. I had been out of school and working in the real world for several years. My interests and goals changed, and with that came a move to Atlanta, Georgia, where I have lived for the last year. The seal of the great city of Atlanta consists of a phoenix rising from its ashes.

 

Above the phoenix the word “resurgens” appears in bold—what better way to change directions and begin a new degree, a new career path and pursue new interests than in the city that is known for rising from its past and turning itself in a bold new direction. So here I am: Exploring my new city, meeting new people, learning new skills and telling new stories.

6 Comments
September 30, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

Nice meeting you,

thanks tyson

October 4, 2010
Click to view Sherbien's profile

Welcome guys and congratulations

October 5, 2010
Click to view sjunat55's profile

spoken to both of you and wish you a great internship and a great future!

good luck!!!

julio/nyc

October 8, 2010

Good luck Guys!

October 9, 2010
Click to view ecotraveler's profile

Thanks Tyson, and welcome Neil and Stephanie. Great bios and looking forward to hearing more from and about you. Best of luck in your endeavors.

October 23, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

welcome thanks

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