When YOU Are Career Day!
Kid Reporter encourages students to follow their passion
“Let’s welcome the Scholastic Kid Reporter, Cassandra Hsiao!” said the announcer at Palos Verdes Intermediate School in Los Angeles, California, introducing me to 300+ 6th graders. Applause still resounded in my ears even after the clapping died down.
With shaking hands, I felt a flutter of nerves in my stomach. I was tongue-tied at first, with my teeth set on edge. I took a deep breath, standing behind the podium facing the audience. My three-minute speech was to encourage students to follow their path of passion and how my own passion in writing led me to be a Scholastic Kid Reporter.
I told them writing gives me confidence and makes me feel like a complete version of myself. Using a lesson from the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, I explained that Flint Lockwood knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a great inventor and how he continued to follow his passion.
I expressed that the students could follow their passions too. I ended with the quote, “Dream until your dream comes true.” I was warmly embraced by the enthusiastic applause of the students.
Right after that, George Olivo, who has been working in the FBI Los Angeles division for the last 13 years, stepped up to the podium. His talk was about core values, strong character, and peer pressure. He demonstrated that peer pressure can be powerful, and if you make a wrong turn at the crossroads, it could mess up your whole life.
“’Kids are the future,’” Olivo told me in an interview after the presentations. “I have confidence in the young people today, but they still need guidance. I want to show them what is possible, and that the sky’s the limit.”
I think he did just that in his speech. I only hope the students got the same inspiration from me.
PHOTO: Scholastic News Kid Reporter Cassandra Hsiao at a school in California. (Photo Courtesy Cassandra Hsiao)