Lights, camera, action!
Students and staff members at Fontbonne Hall Academy were joined by local elected officials and community stakeholders in the Bay Ridge high school’s basement on Tuesday, November 13 to cut the blue ribbon on the institution’s brand new broadcast studio, named after a 1985 graduate.
The studio — which supports the school’s inaugural broadcast journalism program that began this fall — was funded in part by the Emmy Award-winning financial journalist and Fontbonne alum Maria Bartiromo, who was on hand to offer her advice to students no matter their career path.
“These are such formidable years,” she told the girls in attendance, stressing that, today, some of her best friends are still the ones she made in high school. “I would say to the girls that are here that there are three really important thinks that I think about as I continue on my career and that I think are important as you decide your own journey, journalism or not.
“Number one is work hard,” she went on. “Because there are no shortcuts. Number two is love what you do . . . and number three, do the right thing, always.”
The decision to help fund the program, she said, was the right thing to her.
“The idea of helping to inspire the girls at Fontbonne was so important to me,” Bartiromo said. “I wanted to do it to make sure that you have the access that you need to actually have this practice of broadcast journalism, and to have this practice of independent thinking.”
“Maria Bartiromo has not only provided us with a beautiful broadcast studio that has allowed us to create a new academic program at Fontbonne,” said principal Mary Ann Spicijaric, “but also, Maria stands as such a strong role model to our women as well.”
Prior to the construction of the studio, girls could only take a standard journalism course. Today, that course serves as a prerequisite to the new and exciting broadcast journalism program.
This course, Spicijaric said, is one that “provides a direct career path for [Fontbonne] students at a time in our history when teaching honest, neutral and thorough journalism is so important to our nation.”
The brand new studio is fully equipped with lights, camera, tools for video editing and a top-of-the-line set.
Beyond her career as a journalist, Bartiromo — a Dyker Heights native and New York University graduate — is a magazine columnist and the author of three books. She currently hosts Mornings with Maria and Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News. She is also is Global Markets editor at Fox Business Network.
In addition, she was the first journalist to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Students thanked Bartiromo for her time and contribution with a video presentation, made in the new studio.
“This is such an exciting day for me,” said Bartiromo. “This is home.”