Myia Alston has endured more personal hardship in her 20 years than most people experience in a lifetime. Facing poverty and overcoming the temptations of the streets have helped her develop great internal resources. Born in Washington, D.C., Myia graduated fourth in her class at the prestigious Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, where she was recognized with awards for academic excellence and honored for her accomplishments in journalism. As a ninth grader, Myia was introduced to television media as an intern at Channel 28, the public school’s cable access station. For four years, she served as director, producer, talk show host, and reporter. In the summer of her junior year, Myia studied journalism for five weeks in the National High School Institute at Northwestern University.
In recognition of her journalistic ability, C-SPAN offered Myia a five-year internship in its Media Careers for Minorities Program, which she is completing while she earns her undergraduate degree in Electronic Media at George Washington University. This past year she produced vignettes that aired during C-SPAN’s American Presidents Tour; she also field-produced several LIVE events. Myia hopes to be a producer for network television and develop programming for at-risk children.
Myia’s decision to attend college in Washington, D.C. came about when she heard GWU’s president express regret that many of the city’s most talented students were recruited to other top-tier colleges. Although it was a tough choice (she was accepted by Yale, Middlebury and others), she is confident in her decision.
Myia doesn’t spend all of her time in Washington. Last year she studied Spanish and anthropology in Spain in a summer program sponsored by Syracuse University (the photo above was taken in Menorca). During the spring semester of 2000 she studied media at the University of Westminster in London.
Myia serves as a board member for the Peter N.G. Schwartz Foundation, which implements values programs in elementary schools and donates funds to underprivileged college-bound students (she was previously a recipient). Myia’s goal is to “live as a testament to children from similar backgrounds so they will understand that they can make it too.”