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Thank you, Ann Curry

June 28, 2012

I cannot remember the “Today” show without Ann Curry. She is a staple for my generation; I even wrote my seventh grade writing SOL essay (prompt: who would you invite to speak to your class for a day) about her. She is my role model in the field of journalism, and after 15 years and countless stories, “Today” will move forward without her. In her tearful goodbye this morning, Ann’s love for her job and dedication to the viewers were proven. Ann exemplifies faith in journalism and faith in humanity in general.

Ann Curry is loyal, classy, elegant, respectful and caring. Years ago, she cut off her hair for locks of love and inspired others to do the same. I’m not really sure why that moment sticks with me, but I think it’s because it truly represents Ann Curry – the Ann Curry all “Today” show viewers know – to a T. She uses her position as a journalist on a national network to do good for people, to give oppressed people a voice and to make a difference in people’s lives. She will continue to do that in her new role.

I remember many of Ann’s stories over the years. From the time she infamously touched Brad Pitt’s face during an interview to her trips to Africa to report on violence in the region, Ann has a widespread resume, to say the least. For years, she has been the correspondent sent to conduct the important interviews with world figures and other notables. She has been the person willing to travel to conflicted regions because that is what humanity needs: a person who cares enough to report the important stories. As co-host of “Today,” Ann, on a daily basis, interviewed those who mattered for the day and followed that interaction with fluffier pieces. I have always admired Ann; she’s reliable, she’s dedicated, she’s thoughtful and she’s empathetic. She’s a journalist, but above all, she’s a human being. She does her job, does it well, but she actually cares about her subjects. In her career, she has gone out of her way to make sure her work makes a difference, and that is inspiring, from an aspiring journalist’s perspective and a human being’s perspective.

On a personal note, when I had the chance to go to “Today” in 2008, Ann was filling in as co-host for the day. It was cold, and my family shivered as we waited to see the anchors. When Ann walked outside, her kindness was empowering. Crew members told us Ann is the legit thing – she actually has a heart of gold instead of the fakeness of others in the business. I saw that; it was obvious from anyone Ann talked to, which was, of course, everyone. She spent a lot of time talking to my family, and she even gave my mother her hand warmers. When she read my sign saying she’s my role model, Ann hugged me. She’s so genuine, and she not only believes in the future of humanity, but she encourages me to believe in it as well.

Finally, the reason I will always respect Ann Curry is because the day after speculation began to spread that she was leaving the “Today” show, she still appeared on the program because that is what the viewers needed. For Ann, it has always been about giving the people what they need and bettering others’ lives. She is truly a class act. So, Ann Curry, thank you for the 15 years you have dedicated to the “Today” show. Always remember that you are loved.

Meeting Ann Curry was quite a moment for me. I visited the “Today” show on March 28, 2008.

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