24 Aug

Gold Awardee Interviewed on NBC NY Local News

On June 21st, a little over a week after receiving my Gold Award, I was invited to join Barbara Murphy-Warrington, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, in a television interview with Roseanne Coletti of NBC NY Local News. The experience was amazing, and one I will never forget.

After meeting at the Girl Scout Council office in the city, my mother, Ms. Murphy-Warrington, and I were whisked away by town car to the NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center. During the short car ride I tried to stay calm, cool, and collected—no small task because it was such a hot day outside. After all, we shattered all the records for summer heat in New York City this year. Nonetheless, I ran through all of the potential questions that Roseanne might ask and my responses in my head before the car pulled up curbside at Rockefeller Center. The last thing I wanted to do was trip up on live TV!

Apart from the eighty service hours, one of the primary Gold Award requirements is to have a national and global link for your project. This television interview was a fantastic opportunity to publicize my Gold Award project—The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (http://www.loc.gov/vets/)—one that encourages the preservation of our veterans' oral history.

From the minute we arrived at NBC Studios the experience became surreal. This was actually happening! While I was waiting in the corridor to be wired with a microphone, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams walked right past me. I have to admit, I was a bit star struck... After a brief sound check, we walked onto the set.

The newsroom was extraordinary. There were three huge cameras pointed in different directions, moving up and down, and panning the scene. Teleprompters rolled beneath each of them. The studio was covered in lights, across the ceiling and up and down the walls. A large flat-panel television mounted on the wall in the center of the set's interview area showed a live feed directly from bustling Rockefeller Center at Fifth Avenue. Production staff and cameramen worked busily (but quietly) behind the scenes. As we awaited our queue, Rosanne Coletti delivered the news with diction and poise. It was a marvel to see how the whole production came together, seemingly effortlessly—let alone being a part of it myself.

No time to soak it all in. A moment later, a producer gestured to Ms. Murphy-Warrington and I that we were about to go on set! As I walked to the white leather interview chair, a calm came over me. I was now under the lights and it was "go time". Rosanne Coletti rushed over to her seat and in an instant, we were live. It felt surprisingly natural to be interviewed. It was real, and in the moment I felt very relaxed. The interview flew by. A few questions to Ms. Murphy-Warrington, a few questions to me; measured but steady responses with no miscues. Instead of feeling like minutes, it felt like seconds. Before I knew it, the interview was over.

And what an experience it was! It taught me poise and how to keep your cool under pressure. I was proud of myself, my troop, my community, and my family and felt pleased that I had done something positive to publicize my project—this worthwhile initiative by the Library of Congress to capture first-hand the life experiences of the proud and the brave, our veterans. All in all, a tremendous addition to a Gold Award project that actually ended up reaching people far beyond my small world as a Girl Scout: an entire NBC News audience! It was a very rewarding experience and one I will never forget.

Lauren Yesko

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