A first-year student at Forsyth Technical Community College, Tomas Woodall Posada found an exceptional way to raise awareness of the devastating situation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Posada reported as a Student Fellow with the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C.
Click here to read his story.
The Pulitzer Center offers opportunities and scholarships to journalists and student fellows to report on projects that focus on topics and regions of global importance, with an emphasis on issues that have gone unreported or under-reported in mainstream American media.
Forsyth Tech joined the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium last year, which is a network of universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs), and graduate schools of journalism and public health.
As the first student fellow from Forsyth Tech, Posada was excited to return home to Puerto Rico this summer to gather personal accounts from families and learn how grassroots organizations are helping the island recover. More than nine months after the hurricane destroyed Puerto Rico, many of the island’s inhabitants still lack electricity and other resources.
“Puerto Ricans had several volunteer brigades in place before the hurricane, so my report includes how they helped fellow citizens to rebuild,” said Posada. “My passion for my country and the environment helped me convey the scope of what is happening in Puerto Rico.”
“My family was fortunate; their home sustained very little damage, although they didn’t get electricity until November,” shared Posada. “It was two weeks after the hurricane before I could communicate with them.”
Posada was home schooled in western Puerto Rico, where he began studying violin at the age of four. His studies brought him to North Carolina, where he completed high school under the guidance of Kevin Lawrence at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). In 2015, he was given the position of principal second violinist and assistant concertmaster at the Eastman School of Music, and was offered the concertmaster position as an undergraduate at UNCSA in 2017.
However, after developing a wrist injury, Tomas shifted his focus to academic study at Forsyth Tech. Here, he discovered his professional goals outside of music, one of which is environmental protection. Tomas looks forward to completing a degree in environmental studies.
If you are interested in applying as a student fellow next year, please contact Program Coordinator, Literature, Kathryn Ball and look for flyers and Techlink announcements about the fellowship beginning toward the end of fall semester.