Stories by

Maria Serrano

By Keren Carrion

Whether it’s covering a Mother’s Day 5K race, going live in the midst of a graduation ceremony or confronting a local government official about lying to the media, Maria Serrano has a story to tell at 6 p.m. every night.

As a weekend reporter at ABC 7 in Amarillo, Texas, Maria, 22, is able to shine both on set and in the field.

Yet, Maria’s career path began miles away from where she is now.

Maria started her college career as an international relations major at Florida International University in Miami because she thought journalism wouldn’t take her anywhere, she said. It took her some time, to realize that journalism was a viable career, and she eventually majored in journalism. Now she hopes to continue influencing and informing the people in her community while learning more about the world around her.

Maria recently graduated from F.I.U. Her hometown of Orlando is three hours away, where her family lives, though they are originally from Colombia. When she was a child, Maria’s first language was Spanish, and though she will always have her Colombian accent, she said, Maria was able to improve her English and became a reporter for English-speaking stations and publications.

She was a student reporter last fall in New York City, where she learned about and applied for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Maria has also been an intern for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, HBO Latin America and WSVN Channel 7 in Miami.

One thing most people don’t know about her: She is also a twin. Her sister, Andrea Serrano, is younger by 12 minutes, and Maria said her sibling has taught her to take things easy and avoid being too hard on herself.

Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez/NYT Institute

Student leaders at Teens Take Charge, a student-led education equity advocacy group reflect on how the Specialized High School Admissions Test shaped their involvement in the student group. The group says abolishing the test is just one piece of solving the school segregation debate.