Category Archives: Journalism

I let myself fall in love with Boston

Finally- all 200 photos from graduation are posted online, my bags are all unpacked and I’ve begun changing the profiles on my social media. I am no longer a student at Boston University. Truth be told, I began posting on this blog and transformed it to “Mel Takes Boston” two summers ago to basically give myself the courage I needed to pick myself up from where I was and launch myself forward. I was so scared. I cried almost every other night that summer of 2012 when I decided to transfer into BU. I questioned my decision daily and I feared so much. The people closest to me were concerned about my lavish decision, and that really didn’t help make it any easier. Yet, deep down something in me knew I had to pursue this acceptance and take on Boston University’s College of Communication. You see, my heart was begging for an escape and I never thought that it could fully mend, but not until the last month of my two year journey did it heal. I fell in love. Almost altogether I fell in love with the apartment I lived in and its magical view, the best friends I had at my side almost daily, the fine education I excelled at, the dream that turned itself into a reality with the promise of my first real TV reporting gig and my current leading man. If that wasn’t enough- I fell in love with the kind city that turned out to be not so scary and intimidating after all, I fell for the people and their support, I fell in love with a city in wake of its most painful tragedy. My heart felt so much in the past two years that in the last coming month the most incredible thing occurred. I felt my heart outpour with love.

For all you skeptics- I’ve been trying to shake off my recent love daze, and so I waited before I would write this final post. Yet, somehow I cannot shake this overwhelming feeling off. And it’s so great that I am filled with joy and able to share it. I tend to be an idealist, yet I was raised by a family of realists. I try often to remind myself that it’s impossible for this happiness to continue and that at some point it will end. You see, that’s where the realist side of me is mistaken. People who are realistic are not emotionless. For awhile I was saddened by my upcoming graduation that it was painful to be around me. In my mind I considered the day after I graduated and left Boston that this whole reality would come to an end and I could never get it back. But, after some good counseling with my best friend and lots of prayers and well wishes. I realized that no Melissa, no one is dying after all. BU will continue to exist and the city of Boston will always flourish tulips in the spring. I could stay talking to my friends day after day. I could keep on loving. I can now use my useful education and skills to my advantage. And all that love can be channeled and spread to others. No one has to say a painful goodbye.

The incredible studio apartment I lived in during my last year at BU. I was a Resident Assitant at the beloved Stuvi2 on-campus housing.

The incredible studio apartment I lived in during my last year at BU. I was a Resident Assistant at the beloved Stuvi2 on-campus housing.

And as I try not to make this post a diary entry, I own up to the fact that this whole blog began as just that. It was a way where I could write out my feelings in a presentable fashion and be able to own what I felt. I owned the hard times. I owned the successes and owned the journey. In retrospect this blog was created to solely benefit me, and the fact that today I get hundreds of views on my posts is first of all nice– I deeply appreciate my audience– but more importantly it has shown me that THIS is what I want to do. I want to be able to produce work that inspires others and in turn causes them to act and inspire those around them. I graduated high school in 2010 from John A. Ferguson Senior High after three years as the morning announcements anchor. When I graduated I wanted to be a journalist so I could create positive change in the world. Four years later after two hardworking years at Miami Dade College and two final years at Boston University, I am graduating with the same pursuit. I want to be a journalist because I truly believe that I have the capacity to do good for the world. And there’s really no denying that.

As I move onto my next journey in West Texas. I will be joining the CBS affiliate in Lubbock, TX as a general assignment reporter for their evening newscasts. I am thrilled and ready to take Texas.

Stay tuned, my friends. #MelTakesTexas

 

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Filed under BU, Inspire, Journalism, Life, Travel

2,215 Miles Away from Venezuela– (Boston to Caracas)

In early February of 2014 massive protests broke out in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. Why did they start? Where did this angst come from? And how long would they last? Tension kept growing and three months later the unrest in Venezuela is still an ongoing situation. The violence in the Latin American country has not settled and attention is just not a priority for mainstream media. Articles have surfaced, photographers have visited and few organizations have paid close attention to the country’s distress. For a very informative and in-depth coverage on the crisis in Venezuela I urge you to watch the ABC and Univision joint-venture- Fusion‘s #SOSVenezuela documentary by Mariana Atencio. (http://fusion.net/Culture/video/sosvenezuela-fusions-mariana-atencio-takes-us-inside-situation-540484) The documentary does a great job breaking down the specifics of what’s on-going in the country.

As for me, I was heavy hearted reading and hearing the news about Venezuela. I was born in Miami, FL from Cuban parents who left their country to escape communism. This perspective gives me a level of understanding of what horror can unfold in your homeland right before your eyes. Additionally, I grew up living amongst many Venezuelans and have so many friends from the region. Studying in Boston it never occurred to me how large the Venezuelan population is here either. When protests began in the South American country they had an immediate ripple affect here in Boston. Many young Bostonians (primarily Venezuelans studying in this rich academic city) began social media campaigns to foster support for their beloved country. These grassroots efforts were contagious and caused lots of acton in Boston.

My video follows the Bostonian perspective of immigrants, students, families and professors on their plight to a peaceful Venezuela.

#SOSVenezuela

And without further ado, here’s my story:

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My significance of Boston One Year Later

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Today marked the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon that went wrong. It was my first Marathon. This evening I was in COM editing my report of the year anniversary tribute that was held at Hynes Convention Center. The ceremony was attended by VP Joe Biden, survivors and the men and women who were on the scene and helped that day. While I was editing I was watching clips from speakers at the event. I heard survivors who have lost legs say how blessed they were for all the support they have received and asked for people wanting to help, to reach out and help out others in need in your community. I heard many share with pride how incredible the strength of this country and its people is. While going through the footage, my phone buzzed and I saw that a classmate/colleague of mine tweeted out: A year ago today, almost to the hour, I learned who Carlos Arredondo is thanks to & . I thought to myself— damn, he’s right. I was emotional and clicked the next speech, it was that of Patrick Downes where he shares how proud he is to be a Bostonian. His last words, left me sobbing in the edit lab. The impact that the Boston Marathon of 2013 has on me is huge. You see, because I remember exactly a year ago at about the time I was crying in the edit lab is when I was sitting in my former dorm room, very focused, editing my report of the Boston Marathon tragedy and sharing my interview with Carlos— someone who today was recognized by the Vice President as a man who ran to danger and helped in a time of crisis. I met Carlos on the street that afternoon, unexpectedly with my friend and then colleague Seline Jung. Had it not been for the way Carlos spoke, the accent I am all too familiar with— the one that reminds me of my father’s. Had it not been for what I heard, would I have not begun speaking Spanish and captured his attention. I met him with the best intentions and he clearly saw that because I still wonder why he stopped to talk. And it’s easy to conclude that the man who helps, just doesn’t stop helping.  I took a moment to wipe my tears and let that moment sink in for me. Forever in my heart and memory is this event, marked for me with the experience as a young journalist. During those weeks that lay ahead last year’s battle finally one day brought so much aid to my heart… and that was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written: Why meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night. So, as I proceeded to respond to my classmate’s tweet and finally dried off my cheeks, I will never lose sight of how much this day impacted me. And I find myself a year later spending another late evening working on a story (The Globe said it best) I wish would have never happened.

Here’s my story:

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The Power of Freedom

I am currently working on a long form video project for one of my final broadcast journalism courses at  BU. And it’s becoming more than just a class assignment. I am so driven to do every little bit that I can to help bring this story into American perspective and emphasize the huge issue at hand. If violence and protests that result in deaths and unjust imprisonments are not enough to garner attention, understanding the Latin American country of Venezuela and its neighbors which lie so closely to the U.S. should help to see the flashing SOS signals in this country.

Below please read a passionate post by classmate Dany Vazquez and her cry for freedom:

The Meaning of Freedom.

Throughout the next month I’ll be posting links, photos and videos from journalists, experts and people being affected by the tragedy in Venezuela as well as my own work.

Hundreds protested against the violence in Venezuela on February 22 at Copley Square in Boston, MA. This is a still from one of my many video clips from that afternoon.

Hundreds protested against the violence in Venezuela on February 22 at Copley Square in Boston, MA./ MELISSA ADAN

#SOSVenezuela

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Why meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night

Last night myself and my two colleagues and friends Hilary Ribons and Seline Jung met Anderson Cooper. Since the Boston Marathon bombing lots of big key figures have been in Boston, including big time journalists like Cooper. It was around 9:30 p.m. when Seline saw Anderson’s tweet. That’s it she said this is our moment to finally meet him. I excitedly agreed and figured we could find him, since earlier we had seen live trucks all over the city. I thought all we had to do was find that CNN live-truck van. After stalking out NBC, ABC and CNN news trucks and asking around we finally were told where Cooper was doing his live show. Like children let loose in a candy store we ran screaming and holding each others hands down the streets of Boston, really it was very much over the top. Luckily, when we neared the set and saw Anderson at work we simmered down and truly enjoyed the works of any live television production. Yes, we were excited when we said “Hi” and thanked him for his work, and then of course when he offered a photo-op! However, I must say that meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night. And I am sure Mr. Cooper would agree with me as to why. If you have been following my work these past weeks. You are familiar with my video story about the Boston Marathon witness and hero Carlos Arredondo, which has received a lot of attention and has been featured on local Miami news stations as well as NBCLatino.com. Carlos’s story is special, so please check it out. So, after a week and a half that I met Carlos and worked on his story which he was so incredibly supportive and kind about (truly a journalists’ dream). I had to admit that my earlier encounter that evening meant so much more to me than meeting Anderson Cooper, and as a journalist I would like to say Cooper would agree. Lately, I have been learning that some stories I cover will never ever leave me, and it is actually an incredible thing.

Me posing with Anderson Cooper on his Thursday night's live 10 p.m. broadcast for CNN. PHOTO BY Seline Jung

Me posing with Anderson Cooper on his Thursday night’s live 10 p.m. broadcast for CNN. PHOTO BY Seline Jung

Earlier that evening around 7 p.m. I agreed to walk over to Bolyston Street with Hilary and Seline. Hilary led us to Copley plaza to see the memorial that has been set-up for the victims of the bombing. The memorial included the original barricades from the Marathon full of  posters, flowers, and supportive signs and trinkets. I even saw a few supportive signs from Miami. As we approached Copley I finally felt as if some closure reached me from the past couple of weeks because when we arrived Hilary thought she spotted Carlos, the man Seline and I interviewed. I instantly scanned the crowd until I bursted over to a man standing nicely dressed and showered, quite the difference from when I had met him covered in sweat and blood. To my surprise it was Carlos. I bolted forward to him and as he saw me, he smiled and embraced me. Once in his arms I must admit that I began to cry. No words came out— not like I even knew what to say, just tears. That man gently stood there and held me. I cannot explain, how someone who has gone through so much just allowed me to shed my tears. I felt a pang of guilt, but at the same time acknowledged the strength Carlos encapsulates. Soon after he introduced me to two people he was standing with, I began to tell him how his story was just played in my journalism school and he was elated. He told me that he was very happy to hear the video had done so well and received lots of praise and also told me how he knew I would be so successful. He continued to be very kind and warm, I was so happy to see him happy. Finally, for once I felt as if some sort of closure was brought to my journey during the 2013 Boston Marathon week. When we exchanged goodbyes I realized something important— our entire conversation happened in Spanish as it did the day I met him until he changed to English for the camera, I think that’s why he did not forget me.

The 2013 Boston Marathon memorial at Copley Square. PHOTO BY Melissa Adan.

The 2013 Boston Marathon memorial at Copley Square. PHOTO BY Melissa Adan.

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BU COM is the BOMB

Proud to see BU on the list. Representing COM. http://www.bu.edu/com

College Media Matters

Below is a listing of the 50 undergraduate journalism programs I consider to be the best in the country at this moment AKA places I would strongly consider enrolling if I woke up tomorrow back in high school.  It is the 2013 edition, updated and expanded from my previous list.

The list is not meant to be all-inclusive or objective.  As someone who monitors and covers college media and journalism education daily, it is based on nothing more than my personal knowledge of various schools’ and departments’ reputations, faculty, affiliated student media, classes, internship and study abroad connections, and feedback I’ve received in spurts from students and (mostly younger) alums.

It is strongly biased in favor of programs exciting me in the digital journalism realm and in some way aligned with quality campus media and professional publishing opportunities.  It is biased against programs I simply do not…

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http://dailyfreepress.com/

As of next semester I am officially the new Online Editor for The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s independent newspaper. That link is our website, read it, follow it, subscribe to it!

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November 26, 2012 · 2:22 pm