The Wingspan

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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Alumni Feature: Andrew Adams

Alumni+Feature%3A+Andrew+Adams

“Journalism can completely shift someone’s belief and passions and understanding of the world.”

Wingspan alumni Andrew Adams reminisces on his experiences as part of the newspaper staff. Adams was a writer on the paper from 2002 to 2005, and was co-editor and chief with his good friend Jeff Amoros his senior year. Today, as he is working his dream job as a movie producer, he recognizes The Wingspan as a monumental step in his successful career.

 Thinking back to his time on the newspaper, Adams notes the most memorable days being issue release dates. The writers would go from class to class passing out papers and teachers would take a break from their lessons to give students an opportunity to read it. “It was fun…. getting to share our work and see it make people smile.” Adams noted the freedom they had when creating the paper. He and Amoros would often base their prints around various different themes. He remembers a Dr. Seuss theme where all of the articles would be in rhymes. Beyond the exciting work of the class, the community that surrounded him was something he would never forget. While Adams was never the strongest academically, he found his passion in a lot of the extracurricular activities at school, like drama, and of course journalism. These interests foreshadowed his future as he went on to mesh the two together for a career in film. 

Adams in high school

After graduating from Centennial in 2005, Adams went on to study at Florida State in their prestigious film program; so competitive that it only let in about 30 film students per year. While Adams can’t owe it all to The Wingspan, he thinks that one of the biggest and best things he had on his resume when he applied to college was being an editor and chief of the high school newspaper. That was where his grades and accomplishments shined through the most. After film school, he bounced back and forth between New York City and Los Angeles, hoping to settle down in a place where he could have the best work. “I spent a couple years trying to do the traditional path where you climb up a ladder and you start at the very bottom and you give people coffee, and go up bit by bit… and it was terrible,” he said. Amidst his coffee runs, he realized that he would find more success by leaving the bigger projects to start his own, where he could have more creative control, and was in charge of his own decisions. Adam found that this decision really accelerated his career and opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Adams recalled that his coolest job was being a travel videographer. He traveled solo all across the world, granting him opportunities he could have never imagined, like going bungee jumping, or seeing ice hotels. Adams is grateful for his experiences on The Wingspan, because it has allowed him to turn all of his dreams into a reality. 

 Adams recalls from his time on The Wingspan that “We [the staff]  poured our souls into the newspaper.” Back when he was running the paper, 20 page issues were being put out monthly. It was before the era of technology, when every piece of journalism released was on paper, rather than a website, and while there are definitely perks to having access to every article right at your fingertips, there is an element of journalism lost once there was a shift to majority of journalistic content online. Immediately after Adams’ college graduation in 2009, there was a crash in the industry. Despite a reduced interest in the subject, Journalism is just as important as ever. Adams still uses all of the skills he used in journalism to this day. “Media itself and free press is still so vital and so important because it changes how people think,” Adam states. He stresses the importance of the class, since most of the classes you take in high school are designed to give you knowledge, in comparison to journalism which gives you skills, and as you go into the world and develop those skills, you can go into any type of job and start applying them.

“I still have a huge place in my heart for The Wingspan,” Adams said. While his days on the high school newspaper are far behind him, he can’t deny that he has and will always have a great appreciation for all that The Wingspan has done for him.

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About the Contributor
Abby Rothrock, Photo Editor