Profiles of Tenacity highlight our exceptional students who have determination, grit and qualities of leadership. They are involved with their community and volunteer for many worthwhile campus and community organizations. Following are profiles of just a few of our students with tenacity.
“Knowing that I’m contributing to my community is a major source of motivation for myself. Public service has always been at the core of what I’ve done, and it’s how I found my way into journalism.”
Read more about Alander Rocha.
“Find your niche, whether it’s video, photojournalism, scriptwriting, graphic design or sports. Whatever your skills are will be the best way you express yourself through your work.”
Read more about Justin Nemetz.
“Tenacity to me means exhausting your resources to meet your goal. I believe that a tenacious person looks for and creates opportunities that will help better themselves.”
Read more about Suley Rostro.
“From watching interesting Netflix documentaries to traveling in new environments to the people I’m surrounded by, I find myself learning all the time. You don’t need to sit in a classroom to keep learning, that’s something I hope to never lose sight of.”
Read more about Marillyn Heigl.
“The best advice I have received regularly is that “everything changes.” My mother always reminds me of this and grounds me in the reality that in life, just like in nature, everything is in a constant state of change. This advice has always helped me to not get hung up on the little things and keep on moving.”
Read more about Xander Chiaramonte.
Aleesa de Castro
“My proudest accomplishment this year was co-founding the Backlight Student Film Festival. It started out simply as an idea to unite and showcase filmmakers’ work, but it quickly grew into so much more. It truly took a village to make this all happen, and it was so rewarding to see so many Grady and UGA students working together to celebrate one another.”
Read more about Aleesa de Castro.
Olga Diaz Nasser
“Tenacity means going after your goals no matter the obstacles that are in your way. To me, it means determination, perseverance, and resilience. It’s something I hope to embody throughout my daily life.”
Read more about Olga Diaz-Nasser.
“I am motivated by my constant fear of being just average. I do not want to go through life feeling like I had all this potential and never touched or used it. I always strive to be intentional in everything I do. I am also motivated by the word “can’t.” I am often told I can’t handle everything I am involved in from school to work and everything in between. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I make it my mission to not only do it, but do it better. “
Read more about Sydney Hood.
“My biggest accomplishment this year was obtaining and completing an art direction and design internship at a top advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. I was offered the internship through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) and was beyond shocked when I got the offer.”
Read more about Heaven Robinson.
“To me, tenacity is a willingness to leave your comfort zone to get what you need, whether in your personal life or professional pursuits.”
Read more about William Newlin.
“I also think back to when we planted seeds for ideas that would shape my college experience — like brainstorming web series concepts in Writers’ Room, pitching an AAJA chapter at UGA to Dr. Lough, the first conversations about the Backlight Student Film Festival, or the beginnings of what would become The Red & Black’s DEI Committee.”
Read more about Sherry Liang.
“I don’t really have a professional hero, but I love seeing Black women paving the way for us, such as Issa Rae, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Rihanna.”
Read more about Kacie Geter.
“My proudest moment has been being appointed a 2022 MAIP Fellow. This internship program focuses on promoting diversity within the advertising world, and I am so excited to have been placed with the Digitas agency for an Art direction internship this summer!”
Read more about Smera Dhal.
“Coming in as first-generation college student and a rural student, I was faced with unique challenges; however, through tenacity, determination, and perseverance, I have been able to overcome barriers and give back to other students like myself.”
Read more about Bryson Henriott.
“I enjoy telling stories and I enjoy making compelling content, but most importantly I want to make people care about the why in sports.”
Read more about Amelia Green.
“To me, tenacity means pursuing your goals relentlessly and not giving up when you run into obstacles or self-doubt.”
Read more about Jacqueline GaNun.
“Tenacity means believing in yourself every step of the way towards achieving a goal. I believe that by having self-confidence, you can transcend the impossible. You can achieve anything you want in life if you believe you can achieve it.”
Read more about Jillian Smalls.
“I am passionate about mentoring young black men in hopes of instilling the confidence I once lacked in them at an early age. It is important to invest in our youth because they are the future and need to know that their potential is truly limitless.“
Read more about Armani Kardar.
“Tenacity, in my opinion, means possessing the determination to reach a personal goal or level of success. Having this quality also means that you won’t settle for anything less than what you envision.”
Read more about Riley Armant.
Jane Congfei Lian
“For me, tenacity means always staying positive when facing tough circumstances or situations.”
Read more about Jane Congfei Lian.
“Tenacity means pushing through whatever comes your way and never giving up. It means setting your mind on a goal and doing whatever it takes to reach it no matter what situations arise in life that could stand in your way.”
Read more about DonA Traylor-Askew.
“I would not be in Grady had it not been for an early pandemic existential crisis in Spring 2020. I realized one night that I wanted to explore my passions for multiculturalism & storytelling while gaining some of the hard skills only a Grady degree could provide.”
Read more about Michael Banks.
“For a journalist, tenacity means forging on despite disparate odds and chasing every lead that can lead to the truth.”
Read more about Eduardo Morales.
“I have always tried to do not let the facts block out my voice, thus allowing the reader to get to know both me and the story I’m reporting. “
Read more about Palmer Thombs.
“Tenacity is remaining persistent, pushing boundaries, and never taking no for an answer. It’s refusing to limit yourself or settle for mediocrity.”
Read more about Midori Jenkins.
“It’s important to understand that people that hire you and want to work with you will seek you out because you have talents and gifts that they want. It’s important to recognize the power you hold and be your biggest supporter in advocating for yourself.
Read more about Shruti Muruganandan.
Nicole García Sánchez
“I think tenacity is knowing what you want and having a plan on how to get there.”
Read more about Nicole García Sánchez.
“Being a part of Grady has given me a chance to meet incredible individuals, including students, faculty and advisors. It makes me so honored to be a part of this community.”
Read more about Kendal Hill.
“It was a very rewarding summer to see how much my education is really showing up in my future career path, and I’m really grateful for the foundation Grady has laid for me.”
Read more about Alaina Booth.
“PRSSA has given me so many opportunities, taught me so many things, and given me so many great friends. I am so proud that I took the leap of faith in pushing myself to take on such a big leadership role”
Read more about Emily Goncalves.
“I was motivated to continue pursuing my Grady degree because my Grady professors have been incredibly supportive; it has meant a lot to see everyone want you to succeed.”
Read more about Mennah Abdelwahab.
“If I can make just one person feel at home or accepted on this campus, then that is a successful college career in my book.”
Read more about Nick Milavec.
Cate de Castro
“The Industry has been extremely instrumental during my time at UGA, and as president this year, it means a great deal to me to have so many new and familiar EMST students looking to get involved and find their home on campus.”
Read more about Cate de Castro.
“In today’s world, information is everything and I chose my major because I love getting to shape media narratives in positive, beneficial ways that inform our public.”
Read more about Sydney Phillips.
“I am extremely passionate about supporting women in media, specifically women that go into sports media. I love connecting with other women who are as passionate about sports as I am and helping others get into the field!”
Read more about Kathryn Skeean.