Photos by Diala Elhallak
Unis Middle School
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 were shocking to everyone. what started as a normal day in New York City suddenly in one moment changed the lives of everyone living in the United States. Some people were old enough to comprehend what had happened to the World Trade Center. Others, though, were still too young to understand what had occurred.
There is a first time for everything. When teacher April Kincaid was approached with an opportunity for herself and one other student to be on the radio, she was overwhelmed. Sarah Ventre, the editorial assistant of Tell Me More National Public Radio, wanted to set up an interview with Ms. Kincaid and one lucky student.I was fortunate enough to have the chance to be on the radio alongside Ms. Kincaid. When I received the news, I was flabbergasted. My jaw dropped and my heart was beating faster than the speed of light.
At 11:30 a.m Sept. 7, 2011, Ms. Kincaid, I, and Diala Elhallak, another Living Textbook student, strapped our seat belts and headed to Detroit to be featured on the radio. Once we got there, we were seated in a room with microphones and headphones. We were connected to the radio station in Washington, D.C., and were asked questions about the Living Textbook project and how we were affected by Sept. 11, 2001.
“I was surprised when I heard that I and one student were going to be on the radio,” Ms. Kincaid said. “When I found out the topic was how Arab-American students feel about 9/11, I thought, ‘what do I have to do with that?’ It was actually an interview about the Living Textbook project and how the students that were around 2 or 3 years old were effected by 9/11,” Ms.Kincaid said. Ms.Kincaid and I were excited that journalists from Washington, D.C., wanted to hear what we had to say. On the radio, the host interviewed us, but before Sarah Ventre interviewed the student she wanted to have on the radio.
Sarah Ventre, the editorial assistant of Tell Me More decided which student would be featured on the radio. “I was searching for a 13-year-old that had almost no memory of 9/11 and that was a good speaker, smart and not nervous to be on the radio,” Ventre said. Ventre’s role is to pitch ideas, book guests, write scripts and edit interviews.
Ventre did not study journalism. in college. Her friend was a music journalist and soon enough got Ventre into writing, editing and publishing. “Not hearing back from someone is not getting rejected” is Ventre’s advice to young journalists.
Being on the radio was for sure a moment in Ms. Kincaid and my life we will never forget. We will move on in our lives but this experience will always be with us in memory.