Turns out our intern, Emmanuel Camarillo, is pretty skilled at riding a horse! The photo he’s holding shows him competing with a horse named Charlie in the 2007 Gymkhana event, where he won a third place ribbon.

We wanted to get better acquainted with our summer reporting interns, so we did a deep-dive Q & A with each of them. First up, Emmanuel Camarillo!

Where do you go to school? Year in school?

I go to DePaul University, and I am in my final year as a graduate student.

Describe yourself in three words.

In three words, I am stoic, dependable, curious.

Why did you get into journalism?

I wanted to do something that could make a difference in people’s lives. Journalists have an opportunity to illuminate issues, niches, abuses, struggles and triumphs through their work and make an impact through storytelling. I want to reach communities of all kinds and in all places.

Most interesting story you have covered to date?

As a reporter for Good Day DePaul, I covered aspects of Chicago Public Schools’ much-publicized budget woes. I got the opportunity to speak to parents about how the CPS crisis affected their kids. It was a great way to get to know people affected by the crisis, and I loved digging into the politics of it all.

Why do you think audio storytelling is an important form of journalism?

Audio storytelling is important because it brings you closer to a subject and makes a story all that much more personal. It creates a connection between listener and storyteller that isn’t possible when a story is presented only through print.

What led you to Happenstance?

I was scrolling through the internship opportunities email that DePaul sends its students every couple of weeks, and I thought Happenstance looked interesting. I listened to the sample story on the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be cool to report on the lesser-known corners of popular Chicago areas.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to write and read whenever I have the time. When I was in high school, I got really involved in sports, so I run and play soccer if I have a free weekend. I used to be a pretty big video game lover. But as I got older and my responsibilities increased, I couldn’t play as much as I used to. Every now and then, I’ll pick up a controller, though.

What do you love about Chicago?

I love that Chicago is a big city but not overwhelming. You can get around pretty easily by taking the “L,” and the Lake is a great refresher in the hot summer months. There’s usually something to do and there are options for those under a budget. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live here.

Favorite Chicago spot and why?

My favorite spot in Chicago is Little Village because there is a great selection of food and a great atmosphere in the summer. There are great places to shop for cheap trinkets and clothing. There’s a lot of character there. Plus, you can’t beat the summer ‘elote’ season.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I can ride a horse pretty well. My high school had a horse riding program that taught students how to ride western style. At the end of the year, the school hosted a riding competition, Gymkhana, for students to show off what they learned. I earned a couple of third place ribbons in that contest.

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