by Lorenzo Gudino, Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache Nation
My name is Lorenzo Gudino and I am a member of the Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm
Springs Apache Nation. I attended the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University for my undergraduate degree in Journalism. The Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn was my childhood home while Chicago greatly influenced my life. I identify as an urban Indian wholeheartedly.
NAJA came into my life in 2013. A family-friend gifted me a NAJA membership for my
high school graduation. Her mother later urged me to attend the annual conference. Medill graciously sent me to the 2014 NAJA conference in Santa Clara, CA. I bonded closely with Margaret Holt, Leo Hudetz and others who made me feel welcomed in the NAJA community. The following year, I was fortunate to be named a 2015 NAJA Fellow. My time in the Washington D.C. newsroom demanded the best of my journalistic capabilities. The experience pushed me to hone and expand my journalism education. I remember walking through Smithsonian Museums with another Fellow, Lyle Jacobs, trying to produce a newsworthy video within hours. I also had the pleasure to write about Denny McAuliffe’s 2015 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award. Most importantly, my time in the newsroom allowed me to work with other Native youth. I never had the chance to work alongside so many Native students who all practiced journalism.
As the only Native American student at Medill, NAJA showed me I was not alone. The greatest gift I received from the NAJA Fellowship was Reggie George, my mentor. Reggie and I continue to stay in touch. He sent me a Zoom Microphone/Recorder that I use on a regular basis. Reggie constantly supports all of my journalism, academic and personal endeavors. I am grateful NAJA created the opportunity for our relationship to exist. I graduated from Northwestern in June 2017. I have freelanced for Tribal Business Journal and Madison Magazine since graduation. Additionally, I began working with my tribe’s monthly newsletter. Ultimately, NAJA helped refine my skills, learn new ones and prepared me to work with my tribal community.
The Native American Journalists Association strives to empower journalists and voices in Indian Country. Contact us to learn more about our members, access to our expert directory, and/or how to support student fellows like Lorenzo. If you have interest in applying to be a student fellow or a student fellow mentor, updated information is included on NAJA.com.