WRAL-TV Participates in Disability Mentoring Day

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WRAL-TV Participates in Disability Mentoring Day

It’s hard to tell who got more inspiration by participating in Enable America’s Disability Mentoring Day: the staffers of WRAL-TV or the young man who spent the day learning about the television business.

WRAL Group
CBC/WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold (l to r), Digital Media Administrator Steve Elizondo, Mentee Brendan McLaughlin, News Production Assistant Sally Smith.

Brendan McLaughlin, a Communication Arts major at N.C. State, chose Creative Services and News as his areas of focus for mentoring day. News production assistant Sally Smith came in on her day off to show Brendon what it’s like in the trenches of the News department.

“Brendan clearly showed a desire to learn more about the TV news business,” Sally says.  “He was a professional and asked all the right questions.  Brendan is an intelligent, driven young man who will go far in his career.”

Digital Media Administrator Steve Elizondo took Brendan through the production process in Creative Services, including post production and graphics.  

Steve Elizondo
WRAL-TV’s Steve Elizondo (left) conducts audio record session with Brendan McLaughlin learns how it works.

“It was great for me to spend time with Brendan.” Steve says. “It was a treat to see him soaking in the atmosphere of the television station.  I could see doors opening up in his mind.  It was as though he was getting a clearer vision for his career path, right before my very eyes!” 

The program was organized by the non-profit Enable America and promotes career development for people with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on sight job shadowing, and training opportunities. WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager Steve Hammel said the decision to participate was an easy one.

“It was easy because it was the right thing to do. One of the mentors (Sally Smith) for this student even came in on her day off because of how important she thought this was.  Now THAT’s dedication for doing the right thing!”

This is the inaugural year for this program in the Raleigh area. WRAL-TV was one of seven companies participating. CBC/WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold pulled it all together.

In a few hours, the staff of WRAL-TV made a difference, and the young man we met left a lasting impression on us. 

Dear Staff of WRAL,

  I wanted to sincerely thank each and every one of you for going out of
your way to mentor me and show me the day to day operations of your
facility.  The experience I had at your station was extremely beneficial
and helped me think about new ways in which to use my abilities and
talents.  I enjoyed meeting all of you and appreciate your willingness
to speak with me and answer all of my questions.  All of you are so
talented and your company is nothing short of extraordinary.  Thank you
for your dedication to provide such a valuable service to the community
and to me.

Best regards,
Brendan T. McLaughlin

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Shelly Leslie for this capcom story & these capcom photos.

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