In January 2007, Saint Mary’s alumnus Bryan Navarro ’10 lived on a bus in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans while helping with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. In the process, he learned not only about how to help people in need but also about how to tell a compelling story.
Navarro’s path since has taken him to Oregon and Arizona to work as a multimedia journalist, but it all started with January Term helping to rebuild New Orleans communities with Professor Shawny Anderson, where he could see the impact of such work.
“You could see the difference in the residents’ faces,” he said. In later classes, wanting to do more, he returned to New Orleans and went to the Brazilian Amazon, each time documenting the experience through video.
Back at Saint Mary’s, Navarro followed his new passion, taking courses in screenwriting and video production and working at GaelVision. In December 2009, he made a big splash with a memorable video of a rare snowfall at Saint Mary’s that quickly went viral. By then, he was on a roll, shooting the West Coast Conference basketball tournament and the Gaels’ NCAA Sweet Sixteen run in his senior year. At the WCC tournament, a mentor said, “We gotta get you doing news.”
So Navarro jumped into journalism after graduation, working as a reporter for an ABC affiliate in Medford, Ore., and then as a multimedia journalist in Tucson, Ariz. He became a one-stop shop for journalism—writing, shooting and editing—fueled by his passion for telling stories. Now he has come full circle, recently taking a job shooting video for Saint Mary’s.
And while Jan Term is now a memory, Navarro recognizes all that he learned—not only journalism skills but also unforgettable life lessons.
“I had this opportunity to go somewhere, embed myself, and try to convey that experience and let people know what was going on,” Navarro said. “The story was never about us being there, or what we were doing—the story was about what needs to be done.”
—Jazo Moises ’13