By: Tinsley Tullos
Carly Williams, a sophomore at Nation Ford High School, recently returned home from New York City after filming for the National Youth Educational Program, Teen Kids News. She covered an annual Halloween-themed festival in a neighboring New York town. Williams is prone to create a news story out of anything; if there is a camera rolling, she is in front of it.
On Wednesday, Williams prepared for her five-day trip to New York City the next morning. After meeting the fellow newscasters of Teen Kids Crew, it was time for her Ralph Lauren photo shoot. The teens visited The Today Show studio and attended a Coldplay concert, along with an on-site report for Teen Kids Crew on The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, a fall festival in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Williams’ mom Lori served as a longtime producer with CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. While her mom claims to run from the camera, Williams is the opposite. “It’s just something I’ve always loved,” Williams said of her on-air personality. “Carly shines at being in front of the camera,” said her mom. Williams’ mother seemed to always carry around a camera, which led Lori to become her biggest inspiration.
Williams is one of several anchors a part of “Kid Time,” an educational program providing entertainment to an audience of children aged five to eight. Williams provides viewers with her segment “Carly’s Critters.” The show films at Access 21 in Charlotte and airs at 3:30 P.M., the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Members of the “Kid Time” program were also picked up by the Teen Kids News crew, which gave them the chance to participate in the event as well. James Rossi, operations manager at Access 21 and “Kid Time” producer, states, “I asked Carly and her mom to do a segment for ‘Kid Time’ because when I saw samples of her work, I was very impressed.”
Hoping to make a career out of her passion, Williams wishes to focus on the entertainment side of television media. She has been involved with news broadcasting since the early years of middle school and is now involved in her current school’s television production. Chuck Walker, teacher of the broadcasting class, said, “Carly is a highly motivated, creative student who bring positive energy into every project she produces.” Journalism students from Nation Ford High School received numerous awards from the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association for magazine work, the yearbook and photography earlier this month. Walker sees great potential in Williams.
Strategy is not a factor in Williams’ success, but rather attitude. “Carly is just amazing, so natural in her delivery and so likeable. At her young age she’s better on air than some adults you can see on the local news broadcasts,” Rossi says. With the appreciation of the mentors and community members around her, Williams can hardly contain her excitement. She plans to attend her mother’s alma mater, Louisiana State University. “She could run the whole country with a Mac and a microphone. I know she will be a big name in broadcasting. I hope she remembers Nation Ford High School,” Walker firms.