RAYMONDVILLE, May 21 - KRGV-TV Channel 5 News aired a special report Tuesday from reporter Polo Sandoval about a homeless veteran and five award-winning young journalists from Raymondville.
During their reporting on homelessness and poverty, the youths, Ralia Cortinas, Rosa Angelica Barrera, Carla Bocannegra, Jose Trevino and Celyna Vasquez, interviewed a homeless man, Kent Karl Kauten, who was often seen along Hidalgo Avenue in Raymondville.
Kauten, a Vietnam War veteran, died just a few days after being interviewed by the young reporters. Rather than see Kauten buried as a “John Doe” in a paupers grave, the young reporters raised funds to give him a proper burial with full military commendations.
Click here to watch the KRGV special report.
The young journalists are parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and mobile journalists for the Diocese of Brownsville. ?They earned second place in the national Multi-Media Youth Contest, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), a program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Their video project was called "I AM RAYMONDVILLE."
The CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Bishops. The Multi-Media Youth Contest is a tool to engage young people in grades 7-12 in learning about poverty in the U.S., its root causes, and faith-inspired efforts to address it, according to the program's website.
"We are so proud of our mobile journalists from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Raymondville," said Brenda Nettles Riojas, director of the diocesan relations office and editor of The Valley Catholic newspaper for the Diocese of Brownsville. "I think it is a blessing that their work has made an impact. They are witnessing firsthand how each person, no matter their age, can truly make a difference in their community."
The young journalists have earned numerous accolades for their good deeds. U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela honored them in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 26.
Additionally, they were commended at an event on April 29 at the American Legion Hall in Raymondville by organizations including the U.S. Navy, the Knights of Columbus, the Raymondville Independent School District, the American Legion, and State Rep. Ryan Guillen.
To watch the award-winning video, click here.
Sue Groves, a reporter for the Valley Catholic and coordinator of the Mobile Journalism Project, has written a feature about the young reporters for Beyond Arts magazine.