Thank You Brett and Oshimar


As a student of Ms. Dahl’s Newspaper 1 Class, I have already met and heard the stories of many successful people with careers in journalism. With each presentation, I saw that they all spoke with passion about what they do, and they all gave amazing advice to us student journalists at West Orange High School. The one thing that really set Brett Carroll and Oshimar Plane’s presentation aside from previous guest speakers, was the raw honesty and thought-provoking life experiences that they shared with us. Hearing their life stories, and how they have grown from the many setbacks that they’ve both experienced put a lot of things in perspective for me. It made me look at West Orange High School not just as the place that by law, I have to attend 5 days out of the week, but a school full of educational and extracurricular opportunities that equip myself and thousands of other students to tackle their dreams as an adult. I remember Brett said that West Orange can breed unique individuals if you allow it to, and after hearing their stories – I firmly believe that now too. For that I want to thank Brett and Oshimar for recognizing the incredible advantage that I, along with my classmates, have in attending West Orange High School; they made me feel lucky to live in such an amazing town.

As a West Orange High school student, it’s inevitable that one will hear the fact that a famous basketball player, Kyrie Irving, grew up in West Orange. Throughout the years, I have always wondered why I hadn’t heard of any other successful West Orange bred people and from then on, hoped that I could be the next successful person to have grown up in West Orange. Before Brett and Oshimar came to my Newspaper class, I had no idea that people as inspiring and innovative people as they are attended the same high school that I attend. I was so excited to hear that people who looked like me grew up to become passionate about creating a platform for journalism, and forms of media. Their stories showed me that sports prodigies aren’t the only options for people from West Orange, and I can’t wait to see the upcoming media company, Intuitive Truth, prosper in the near future.

Oshimar’s experience as a former athlete and a former aspiring pro-athlete taught me a lot about life and how everything falls into place. Life can be frustrating, and sometimes hard to understand when you’re faced with constant setbacks, but through Oshimar’s story; I’ve learned that every experience, every struggle, every failure, and every success happens for a reason. I thought it was very inspiring to hear how Oshimar’s life didn’t exactly go in the way he initially imagined it would because it really emphasized how unpredictable life could be. It was amazing to see how even through the trials and tribulations, Oshimar remains to live with no regrets and is grateful for struggles he’s faced. There is something incredible about learning how to find the light in every dark experience and I hope that one day I can also learn how to be as shameless and humble as Oshimar is.

I feel as though representation in society is important, so seeing people like me come to my school and tell their life stories was a riveting experience within itself. It was very interesting to hear that as a child, Brett was surrounded by positive representations of other African Americans, and as an adult, brought that influence into his plan for Intuitive Truth. I found it very inspiring to hear that Brett, someone who looks like me, was able to go to college and despite a couple of low points, pursue amazing journalism jobs. Seeing that representation, even if it was just one person out of the millions of people in the world, was everything to me. Thank you, Brett, for showing me that though it may not be easy, a career in journalism is very much possible for me as a black girl in America.