Friday, February 15, 2013

Cherri Gregg: "People don't know what they don't know until we tell them."

When Cherri Gregg was a little kid, she always wanted to know what was going on before anyone else. And she was always going around telling people about what she discovered.

"I always dreamed of being a reporter," she said yesterday in class.

She got sidetracked though. After studying communications at Boston University, she earned her law degree from Howard University. Then she practiced intellectual property litigation for eight years. And she married a fellow lawyer, whom she met on her first day of law school.

"I didn't like it," Cherri said of being an attorney. "I didn't love it with the same passion that my husband did."

So she did some research on graduate schools and wound up at Temple. Immediately, she became involved with TUTV and she reported and anchored for Temple Update. She freelanced video packages for a Turkish news organization. She kicked ass in her classes, she developed contacts and sources and she built her demo tape.

"It's on you," she said. "You can't blame your professors if you don't succeed."

Halfway through her graduate studies at Temple, Cherri began working as a part-time reporter at KYW Newsradio. Her immediate supervisor is a Temple grad, as is the news director and most of the reporters (some of whom also teach at Temple). After completing her graduate program, Cherri went full-time at the station.

Last month, she covered the inauguration of Barack Obama. She watched Beyonce lip-sync from up close. She reports, writes, tweets, shoots images, packages video and creates podcasts while covering multiple stories every day.

"There's no chilling," she said. "It is fast-paced."

But she loves it.

"We get to be thought leaders," Cherri said. "People don't know what they don't know until we tell them."

Here are a few other things that stood out for me:

• Her reason for going into law is the same as why she became a journalist: "I want to give voice to people who can't speak for themselves."
• She thinks she'll go to television news at some point but she knows she has much to learn still.
• She believes in making strategies, figuring out what she needs to do to get to where she wants to be.
• She thinks you should make a strategy too.
• As a journalist, you have to be comfortable around all kinds of people.
• Be nice to everybody. Who knows where people will wind up, and you don't want to burn bridges.

What stood out for you?


Brittany Boston said...

First to comment! Yay! I loved Cherri, as a fellow PG County princess, she is such an inspiration! She did it! She did it all. Her drive is amazing. I really appreciate how she told us the real side of journalism: the struggles, the competitiveness, and the great people and places she has experienced. What stood out to me the most is how hard work really got her to the place she is at. Her journey has not been easy and she is not stopping anytime soon. I will definitely be emailing her!

Dave Mucchetti said...

Terrific speaker. Appreciated how she showed that you can veer from your life plan after college and still find a job you love doing. Also did a great job of keeping a large lecture hall attentive. A+

Janki said...

Cherri Gregg was absolutely inspiring! It just drove me even further to prove everyone wrong like she did and also to just pursue what you love. I kind of wish I had met her last semester to inspire me even earlier but I am still thankful to have heard her story and received her advice.

I really agree with the fact that she said you should be nice to everyone you met because you never know who you will be working for in the future.

And to add on to that I think you should also try to get yourself noticed as much as you can. Even if you met someone once and they don't remember you, reintroduce yourself and keep doing so until they remember you. I had just met a girl that has done an internship with BET, Nickelodeon and MTV and she got the internship at MTV because she introduced herself at the Nickelodeon red carpet event and when they were hiring for interns, she remembered her and hired her on the spot.


Marnice Davis said...

Whether in college, law school a lawyer or journalist, Cherri showed how she was always a comitted, hard working lady who never took no for an answer. When Cherri said "I always knew that I was going to be successful" shows that success is a mindset. You have to believe in yourself and become the CEO of you. Her words of wisdom truly inspired me and by the response of other classmates, encouraged us as a whole to become more passionate and enthused about our future career that can begin now.

Valerie Vaincoeur said...

I enjoyed Cherri Gregg's ambition and drive. She showed us that through hard work and determination that we can do what we want to do. I loved the fact that she was so down to earth with us students. She wasn't big headed but made it known that the road to get where she is now wasn't easy. Cherri stressed that she became a journalist because it makes her happy, not because of the income. She could have continued making more money as a lawyer but she stuck with her passion. She's definitely a great role model for future journalists!

Bryant Harris said...

Cherri Gregg's story is nothing short of inspirational. Sometimes things in life can provide the foundation that can eventually lead you to achieving your dreams. It is apropos that her yearning for wanting to always be informed about events as a young girl has lead her on a difficult yet incredible journey to become a journalist. What is even more amazing is that she is not done and has aspirations to transition into television through her work ethic and passion for what she truly loves to do. I only hope that one day I can discover my true calling in life and have the will and desire to achieve my dreams and be successful. Thank you Cherri for enlightening all of us and sharing your life with us. Your powerful words have inspired us all.

Sarah Lehman said...

All I have to say is wow. Cherri Gregg was so incredibly inspiring. I find it so amazing that she has accomplished so much and just wants to keep going and going.

Cherri reinforced many things that I have been trying to convince myself of and tell myself throughout my life. I need to realize that success really is in your mind. If you want to succeed, you need to believe you can. You also need to know what you want to be successful at, first of all.

Even though I have never done any of the incredible things she has done, I still found her easy to relate to and down to earth. That was one of my favorite parts of her presentation. Even though she is a completely different person than we are, she talked to us as if we were her colleagues. Overall, she had a very large impact on me and the way I am going to start to view things.

Ciara Murphy said...

Cherri was truly inspirational. She gave the profession of journalism a real life feel. I liked that she addressed the gritty and not so glamorous parts of the career. It is important to know both the negative and positive aspects--and the negatives are rarely discussed. What stood out the most for me was her reason for becoming a journalist. "I want to give a voice to people who can not speak for themselves" Cherri explained. The aforementioned statement gives light to the true importance of journalism.

John Lolley said...

Cherri was a amazing. Her story was so inspirational and if it didn't touch you then I don't know what will. When I was in high school I kind of went down the same path like Cherri of wanting to pursue a career in law because they make a lot of money. It wasn't until my Sophomore year in college I realized that writting was my true passion. in life when you find something you love to do, and you will never have to work hard a day in your life. George thanks for bringing Cherri in to speak to the class.

Nicole Daigle said...

Cherri is great. She is so sure and brazen. I think what was most important to me was what she talked about in the end, about going for what you want. I t is very true that many people try to focus on fixing their weaknesses, while it is most important to focus on our strengths. As an older student, her change of career was reassuring for me. I often worry that a younger person will have better chances of getting that dream job, but she highlighted that it is the drive not the age!

Amelia Tognoli said...

Cherri was inspiring. She took motivation to an entirely different level. Her enthusiasm for the profession leaped off of her. I loved listening to her speak of her dedication. It taught me how you really do need to work for what you want, and to be the best requires hard work. It was an awesome experience listening to her.

Carly Van Houten said...

I really enjoyed listening to her story. Because I myself have changed my mjind so many times whether its majors, careers, directions to go in or even universities! Lik Cherri argued "sometimes you have try n figure out what you dont like to get across to what you do enjoy." The fact she went through boston college n then law school n in the middle dropped out thats a big decision to make and knowing or figuring out where to go from there! She seemed very passionate and a strong leader in her profession and a great role model to follow in the journalism career. She also couldnt emphasize enough how much work, dedication and time consuming it is to get to the top of where you want to be in th industry. Cherri said shes still not where she wants to be! I really enjoyed her speaking with us especially being a prior Temple student whom had Geo as her professor is inspiring and helpful!
Great job Cherri!

Briana Edwards said...

Cherri was definitely inspirational. It is not very often that you see people from where I love and grew up that are truly successful. Her words were very encouraging. To sum it up she said you can do whatever you put your mind to, you just have to work for it. She is a living definition, she worked hard for everything she has earned, nothing was given. I also enjoyed her visit because it was very personable, down to earth and relatable. Her speaking was very conversation-like made it alot more enticing. Her bubbly personality definitely showed through out her visit. She was an eye opening inspiration.

Chynna Mela said...

What stood out for me was her drive to succeed. She realized what her passion was and even though it would sidetrack her life she went back and pursued her dream--and worked hard at it. I especially liked what she said about professors and succeeding. A lot of students say that a professor can make or break you but that is not true. YOU make or break you!

Anonymous said...

Loved HER!! She was such an inspiration. She seemed really down to earth and awesome. She works so hard!!! I love that fact that she gave up making a lot of money, for her passion. She's amazing.

Leslie S

Erin Martin said...

I really enjoyed her optimism and advice! She was very realistic about her career, which was helpful because looking at job descriptions doesn't exactly give you a feel for what it's going to be like. She was one of the most confident women I've met and I'm glad to have introduced myself at the end. I found her story very inspiring.

Rahmeek Jones said...

Cherri Gregg was on of the best speakers thus far in our class this semester. I love her drive and determination to achieve her goals. The idea that she went to law school and worked her way back to journalism. She opened my eyes to keep fighting even when it seems like it's not enough time in a day.

Suchi Parikh said...

Wow, thats all I have to say. Cherri Greg is so inspiring and I am glad I got to read this article. People have always told me that I'm not going to be able to achieve what I want to achieve which is to be an editor for a fashion magazine. Of course, this is going to take a lot of work and effort which I am willing to put in and reading how Cherri did everything is actually inspiring me. You have to work hard and keep trying even if you fail! That's how the journalism world works. And what she said about networking and being nice to everyone is very true. Some of the people who are famous today have been shown as losers in school. For example, a celebrity: Demi Lovato. She was bullied all throughout her school days but look at her today. She could get you to unimaginable places. Cherri's story has motivated me to go further in what I want to do!

Benjamin Curran said...

Cherri had a lot of good things to say, but undoubtedly her most important contribution to our class was her attitude. It's refreshing and empowering to see someone so goal-oriented and hear her talk about working towards your dreams and beginning to see them manifest. People need to have influences like her.

Erica Adeleye said...

After reading this article, I would say that Cherri's work ethic and determination to do what makes her happy stood out to me. I too am pursuing journalism to inform the public and give people a voice. I believe that knowing people is crucial to knowing stories. Every day is a story, especially living here in Philadelphia. There is always something going on but how will people know unless we tell them?