Faith Abercrombie and George Loureiro have a lot in common.
They hail from Rocklin, California (population: 66,830). They attended the same high school, where they served as staff leaders of their school's broadcasting team.
The two will carry on that tradition when they both attend Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication this fall. Abercrombie and Loureiro spoke to ASU Now in a dual interview just days before they arrived on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, where they will study journalism for the next four years.
Question: Why did you choose ASU?
George Loureiro: I chose Arizona State primarily because of the credibility of the Walter Cronkite school and all that it has to offer — as well as campuses specifically suited to the needs of the specific major so as to have easy access to professionals in the fields being studied by the students. Due to my passion for broadcasting I wanted to go to a school well equipped to not just get me a degree in the major I wanted but to come out as one of the best for the major I wanted. When I visited ASU I instantly felt that it was the place for me with the endless amount of technology and the 24/7, around-the-clock access to the Walter Cronkite School's facilities.
Faith Abercrombie: I was honestly not considering Arizona State University until I visited the campus. I’m very close to my family, and I thought that I could never live that far away from home. When I took a tour of the Cronkite School, I instantly knew I had to go to school there. I loved that students were in there working on projects even on the weekend. It felt like I could make ASU my home away from home. When I was walking around the campus, all of the students were wearing ASU shirts, which showed me that everyone has Sun Devil pride. Seeing all of the school spirit on campus made it feel like it was already my home.
Q: What drew you to your major?
GL: Since my sophomore year of high school I have been deeply devoted to broadcast journalism. Over the last three years of high school I have helped anchor, produce and create content for our school news show. Through those experiences it became clear to me that it was what I wanted to study and do in life. On top of the daily news I also did play-by-play for our high school football team and did any sports journalism project that I could get my hands on. Through these experiences it was easy for me to decide on the right major for me.
FA: I’ve been very involved in the broadcasting program at my high school since ninth grade. I instantly fell in love with being in front of the camera and sharing peoples’ stories. I loved doing news packages on people in the community who I felt needed to be recognized. Being a reporter in high school gave me so much confidence to meet new people and tell their story the right way. I love to interview people of all ages and hear what they have to say. In high school, I anchored the daily morning announcements and was a sideline reporter for our school’s football games. It was easy to choose a journalism major because I can’t imagine not learning more about it. I believe there’s never enough you can possibly learn, and I definitely want to expand my knowledge on how to become a better journalist.
Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?
GL: In my first semester I’m most excited to just start learning and to meet new people. I think the biggest thing I want to do is just put myself out there and figure out where it is I fit in on this campus. I really hope to find a group of people who I click with and can easily get along with. Also I’m hoping to get involved in intramural sports and clubs and just anything that I can sink my teeth into. School-wise I want to get into any special broadcast-specific projects I can right away and start getting really invested into the program.
FA: I can’t wait to attend football games. I love being involved and having school spirit. I think college is what you make of it, and I definitely want to be someone who is always attending athletic events. I’m so excited to go to games with new friends because who doesn’t have a good time at a football game? The high energy and cheering for the team is what I’m all about.
Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?
GL: I like to brag about the nice hot weather and the beautiful campus. ASU is such a beautiful school, and I don’t think a lot of people truly realize it until they can see the school firsthand. Also I brag about the success rates of graduates to getting jobs in their preferred fields after college.
FA: I have to agree with George on this one: the weather. I have some friends going to school where it snows and gets really cold. I love to tease them and brag about wearing sundresses and shorts in the winter. My friends have to pack big winter coats to prepare for all of their seasons, but I’m fortunate enough to only have to pack for summer all year long.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?
GL: “The Office” due to the humor and the overall story and struggles of everyone involved. I really love sarcasm and comedy, so this show is one of my all-time favorites and my favorite right now.
FA: My favorite TV show is “Big Brother.” About 20 contestants are put into a house with the end goal to not be evicted to win $500,000. I love watching the drama and the games they have to compete in. This show comes on three nights a week, and my family knows this show must be on the TV.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?
GL: I really hope to gain the connections and skills necessary to be truly successful in the world of sports broadcasting. I want to be able to come out of college with a large variety of work to show off to people and a good backbone of references to speak on my behalf. I don’t want to just come out and find a job — I want to come out and be the best that I can be.
FA: In college, I want to meet as many people as I can. My dad always talks about college being the best years of your life, and I want to be able to say that when I graduate. I hope to end college with a lot of friends and have hopefully made an impact in other peoples’ lives as well. I also aspire to become a reporter for a news station, so I hope I come out of college with a job or internship that makes me happy.
Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only friends know?
GL: I love to keep fish. Back home I have three fish tanks with exotic fish in each of them, and my friends love to joke about them. I find them and all animals just so fascinating and love to go to aquariums and obviously keep fish myself. Animals have always been something I’ve had a huge interest in, but only my close friends really know about it.
FA: When I was 6 years old I broke the biggest bone in the human body — the femur. I was doing a walking handstand in gymnastics and fell on my leg wrong. I surprisingly, and thankfully, did not have to have a full body cast, but I did have to get screws. I was bedridden for two months and in a wheelchair for about seven months. I have a huge scar on my left upper thigh, but I think it’s cooler to tell people it’s from a massive shark bite.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?
GL: I would use it to help the disadvantaged youth in the United States. I believe that everyone deserves a fair shot in life, and sadly for a lot of kids they don’t get that equal shot that they deserve. So I definitely think if I had the money I would donate it all to helping them.
FA: I would use the money for programs in schools that focused on mental health. It makes me sad when I hear that one out of every five teens have some sort of mental health illness. I think if students knew more about what mental health is when they are younger, they won’t feel like an outcast when they are older. It’s more common than people think, so there should be more of an emphasis in the education system about how to be healthy or how to get help if you are struggling.
Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?
GL: I’m going to have to go with a 24-21 ASU win over Arizona! Last-second field goal perhaps. We’ll just have to see.
FA: My prediction is 34-28. ASU takes the W, of course. We have to let them score a little bit for a fun rivalry game. Forks up!
Top photo courtesy of George Loureiro and Faith Abercrombie