An Interview with PBS Intern and Social Justice Advocate on the Hill, Holly Tente ‘23

Stacey Kaliabakos ’23

Features Editor

After hearing about Holly’s hard work as an intern this semester, watching her advocacy efforts culminate in an excellent Zoom webinar on race and racism on the Hill, and talking about all of her extracurricular interests over FaceTime, I decided that her story would be perfect to share with the Holy Cross community. A committed student and well-rounded person, Holly is an example of the qualities Holy Cross students should display. Her interesting work involving film editing as an intern and her journey as a warrior for justice on and off campus have been motivational for me to listen to and write about– and I hope the rest of our community feels the same.

Graphic by Kate Nedorostek ‘23. Photo courtesy of Holly Tente ’23.

Stacey: What is your major and what have you been involved in at Holy Cross? 

Holly: I am a History major on the hill. I am involved with the History major club, and currently serve as the co-editor and contributor for the new underclassman newsletter History on the Hill. Outside of the History department, I am a member of ACT and an Admissions tour guide. I am also working towards completing the Certificate in Business Program. 

Stacey: How did you discover your internship and what have you learned from your experience thus far? 

Holly: Finding my internship was a truly serendipitous experience. With the help of the Center for Career Development, I decided to check out all internship opportunities for the fall on Handshake. I found a remote offering from RadicalMedia, a production company based in New York City. The internship was described as an outreach position, looking for stories that would be included in a television special coming out next winter (later on, I learned that the series was for PBS American Portrait… and I’m still in awe). Every month, I look for about ten stories from all around the United States that go onto the PBS American Portrait website. My work is incredibly fun as I meet new, interesting people every day. I’ve learned how to use hashtags and other tactics to network and efficiently find key stories.  

Stacey: How has The Good Trouble Series played a role in your journey as a Holy Cross student?

Holly: Working on The Good Trouble Series has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The opportunity to proactively collaborate with Jordyn Shubrick ‘22, Meah Austin ‘22, Ryan Wynn ‘23, and John Larsen ‘22  has continued to bring a smile to my face. When I entered Holy Cross, I made a promise to myself that I would speak up about advocacy. Accounts like @blackatholycross helped me recognize that our campus has issues that need to be addressed head on with an effective, all-inclusive discourse. Watching members of the History department and the Black Student Union come together to create effective events and also discuss the solutions for the future has now become a large part of my experience at Holy Cross. I am now an active member of discussions about race on campus, and I plan to stay in this role for the rest of my time as a student and beyond.  

Stacey: What advice do you have for students who have several different academic and extracurricular interests, especially in the age of distance learning? 

Holly: Distance learning is aggravating, but it’s important to remember that it is not forever, and even though you are home you are still working towards completing your college degree. Make the most of your time, go to your Professor’s virtual Office Hours, keep your sleep schedule in check. In addition to self care, work on answering this question: What do you want for the future, and how can you get started? The often forgotten silver lining of this pandemic is that we have more free time and virtual access than any other group of college students has ever had. Focus on yourself and your dreams: for all you know, what you truly desire may come true if you begin manifesting now. Dinand, darties, and late nights at Croads will return. Who do you want to be when they do?

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