How Lessons in Hip-Hop Helped One Man Overcome His Past
How one arts program helped a marginalized young man become a master freestyler and a mentor for the next generation.
By Santiago Montoya
Lulu Orozco has long had an interest in filmmaking, which has taken her on a path to tell in-depth stories through video.
Lulu was born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, but her parents moved to Salinas, Calif., with her when she was just weeks old. She was raised bilingual, an asset she considers “super important” in the field of journalism. She also considers it an advantage that enables her to understand the cultural backgrounds of her subjects, and to connect and empathize.
Lulu, 33, completed her undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University in print and online journalism.
She is a self-taught videographer and storyteller who realized soon enough that she wanted to tell stories visually.
Through “visual storytelling, people can connect faster,” she said. “You feel empathy for what’s on the screen.”
Lulu is enrolled in a documentary production master’s program at the University of California, Berkeley.
A month ago, she expanded her international reporting experience by traveling to Colombia, where she worked on a deforestation environmental story. She said it focused on former rebel fighters “going back into the forest as forest guardians.” Lulu describes her experience as being a “big challenge for me and a way to own my skills as an international reporter.”
Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez/NYT Institute