South Miami Senior High School senior Jesse Rodriguez is the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Miami Regional Winner for Literature/Journalism sponsored by NBC. The17 year-old son of Elena and Osmani Rodriguez, Jesse?s dream is to become a broadcast journalist and already has considerable experience in the field. As a student in South Miami High?s Mass Communications program, Jesse has already mastered the basics of video journalism, editing, interviewing skills, and photography. He names his teacher, Mr. Rudy Diaz (a two-time Emmy winning news photographer) as his mentor and greatest inspiration. Stating that Mr. Diaz has taught him a great deal beyond the technical skills required in the field, like the responsibility a journalist carries to reporting a story faithful to the facts and the impact a story can have on a single person or a whole community.
Jesse is the Silver Knight candidate for South Miami Senior High School, and is a Senior of Distinction, an award given by the faculty of his school to the most respected members of the student body. Jesse considers his Silver Knight nomination to be his greatest accomplishment. Additionally, Jesse was also selected as an NBC-6 Junior Broadcaster; the report he compiled was broadcasted in the February sweeps period on the 5:30pm newscast.
While maintaining an impressive GPA of 3.3, Jesse has been involved with his school?s Student Government Association as a Senator and his school district?s Student Government. He is also involved with the YMCA?s Youth and Government Program, his school?s debate club, and Social Studies Honor Society. Jesse is involved with the Miami- Dade County office of Emergency Management, as a volunteer.