Already well-liked by the educators and staff of the Scotland Early College High School, Doni Holloway is on track to one day become a familiar face to the nation.
Holloway, a sophomore at the early college, found an interest in journalism in elementary school, when he edited correspondence among his family members.
“When I was about six or seven, I was the editor of our family newsletter, and that was really good for me to practice my writing skills,” said Holloway. “I realize how important writing is in journalism; I want to go into broadcast journalism, but writing is really important for that too.”
He has dabbled in journalism ever since, and was recently tapped as one of 250 National Youth Correspondents to the 2013 Washington Journalism and Media Conference to be held in Washington, D.C. at George Mason University this summer.
For youth correspondents, the conference is a week-long, comprehensive study of journalism and media. They are challenged to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical aspects associated with a career in journalism.
Presenters will include prominent journalists, CEOs of major media outlets, and researchers. Last year’s conference included Hoda Kotb, Chuck Todd, Brian Lamb and Neil Leifer.
“I think it’s one of the greatest moments in my life to be able to go there and network with these people,” Holloway said. “Last year, scholars had the opportunity to attend a briefing with a former White House press secretary.”
Holloway counts news anchor Diane Sawyer and former CNN news anchor T.J. Holmes among his professional role models. In 2011, he entered and won the Teen Kids News online national reporter competition with a one-minute video news segment on education, one of his favorite topics.
He has also delivered the WLNC Spotlight on Education radio program on several occasions, writing his own scripts.
“I really like education stories and inspirational stories, stories about youth doing good things,” he said. “I also like stories about the community. I know that there a lot of negative stories, and I know that will be a part of my job, but I like to focus on the positive more.”
As a seventh and eight grade student at Sycamore Lane Middle School, Holloway anchored the Bucks News program broadcast to the student body. Eliminating any doubt about his ability to deliver in front of a camera, he pushed for a change from a pre-recorded segment to live filming.
“It was recorded to begin with and I changed the format to live because I like the live aspect of it,” said Holloway. “Any opportunity I can get to speak in front of the camera, I take. I’m not camera-shy at all. I try to encourage other people, because sometimes it is a little bit hard to get people to talk in front of a camera.”
The son of Cheryl Holloway of Laurinburg, Holloway serves as an acolyte and lector at St. David’s Episcopal Church, and counts an interview with Episcopal bishop the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry among his highest journalistic achievements.
“I developed my own questions and I’ve also done impromptu stuff, extemporaneous speaking,” he said. “I think it’s really my gift, to be able to speak and communicate in front of people.”
Holloway will graduate from SEarCH in 2016, and hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to work toward a degree in broadcast journalism. He also plans to pursue a master’s degree in the field.