Rocket Vision, Irvin’s broadcasting show, beat more than 100 high school journalism programs for a segment on the El Paso Strong movement to win top honors at the National Scholastic Press Association last month in Washington, D.C.
The winning piece was on the El Paso Proud movement that evolved after the Aug. 3 attacks at the Cielo Vista Walmart.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Rocket Vision advisor Mariel Bautista. “This was a show that took a lot of work outside of school, on weekends and a lot of research. It was a project that took a lot from them, but it paid off.”
The 20-minute segment featured stories on the Cielo Vista Walmart reopening and an active shooter training. Students also interviewed a victim.
“We didn’t want to focus on the negative but after the tragedy how El Paso Strong formed,” Bautista said. “It was cool for them because when we went to the Walmart reopening, they were standing next to the different channels with their tripods. They felt like they were in the real world out there with the professional reporters.”
Junior Korina Garcia anchor said the award made her and classmates feel accomplished.
“I think the most important thing is that we tried to do was show El Paso on a national scale,” she said. “I think we nailed it — spot on.”
“I love writing stories and the accomplishment of people hearing my name and seeing my name rolling in the credits,” Garcia said. “It feels really great.”
Junior Brandon Martinez enjoyed the broadcast team’s camaraderie and collaboration that grew as the team put the pieces of the segment together.
“I’m glad to be on a team that everybody worked together,” Martinez said. “We gave it our best. It feels great to see the trophy in the classroom and know that I was part of it.”
Martinez hopes to join the ranks of professional journalists after college.
“I like to be behind the camera and that feeling of seeing on work on YouTube or a website,” he said. “It feels good. I plan to go to UTEP and study to be a journalist and after that apply somewhere I know I can make a difference and really get involved.”