Camlen Carlile-Davis

Nixa High School senior Camlen Carlile-Davis attended the 48th Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop at the University of Missouri.

Nixa High School senior Camlen Carlile-Davis joined students from across the country this summer at the 48th Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop at the University of Missouri. 

Carlile-Davis and other students worked together to produce stories, photos and broadcasts in a professional setting under the guidance of industry professionals and faculty at the MU School of Journalism.  

"I think that the Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop was a really insightful experience into what real journalists do every day, which helped me further my knowledge into the career I want to pursue," Carlile-Davis said.

Over seven days July 7-13, students produced stories in the school’s award-winning, hands-on learning laboratories, including the Columbia Missourian newspaper; KOMU-TV, the local NBC affiliate; KBIA-FM, mid-Missouri’s NPR affiliate, as well as across multiple media platforms. 

Highlights of the workshop featured storytelling in a variety of formats, including mobile technologies, social media, documentary journalism, data journalism and more. 

Carlile-Davis is the marketing director for Wingspan, which is the Nixa High School journalism department's student-produced quarterly news magazine.

The story they produced:

Mexican immigrant flourishes in U.S.

By Camlen Carlile-Davis

Nineteen-year-old Sergio and his family left their home in Mexico to come to the U.S. for a better life. Sergio’s father was offered a job opportunity in Kansas City, Missouri, as a pastor, so his family took their chance to seize something greater.

“I started kindergarten here and I have graduated high school,” Sergio said.

Sergio, who did want his surname published for this story, had to start from scratch when entering the U.S. He did not know any English. He was enrolled at his first American school in kindergarten and through this he was able to become fluent in English and Spanish.

Although Sergio and some of his family are now prospering in Columbia, not all of his family was able to come along.

“Probably leaving family behind was the hardest obstacle in our path,” he said.

Sergio also said his mother and sisters have gone back to Mexico to visit family, but he has not. He hopes to visit them some day soon.

Sergio works full time at La Siesta, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Columbia. He cherishes his work since he knows the struggle in Mexico.

“I can personally say that I feel more blessed here,” he said. “Life over there is hard because of all the cartels and business that is going on over there. You can have a good life over there, but it is not as easy as it is in America. There’s a lot of corruption there.”

Even though Sergio has adapted to U.S. culture, he still keeps some of his Mexican roots. Rosca De Reyes is a tradition where you make bread and put a tiny baby doll in the dough. The person who finds the baby has to make tamales.

Sergio says coming to the U.S. has offered endless opportunities he would have never had in Mexico. He is undoubtedly grateful to live his life in the land of opportunity right here in Columbia.

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