Winter brings us snow, ice and grey skies. And while we look out the window, Dayton Youth Radio producer DeVontae Jackson prefers to analyze the weather through calculations.
My name is Devontae Jackson. I’m 18 years old, and I go to David H. Ponitz CTC. I’m an African American male who loves salad and the weather. I am an aspiring meteorologist who dreams of being on TV one day.
Yeah, I just said meteorologist.
Today, I want to talk about the meteorology field, that is, being a broadcast meteorologist, well sort of.
When I was a child, I would always look up to the weather forecasters on TV, and I would think, “Man look at that. I want to do that one day.”
But there was one thing I noticed, none of them on TV looked like me. When I would tell my friends that I wanted to be a forecaster, they would say, “What?!”
Weather is my passion, and if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have spent months making my very own weather blog. I was up day and night coding the website and making weather graphics. To me, as a weather geek, it made my day.
I don’t let my life obstacles turn into excuses of not pursuing my dream. I don’t come from the best neighborhood. I’m from the Madden Hills neighborhood in Dayton. There are fights and there are even shootings sometimes. Plus my dad is incarcerated, but my family including my dad, supports me. That’s another thing that keeps pushing me towards getting my degree in meteorology.
I will never forget when I was eight or nine, my Grandpa told me to go outside in the rain and give a weather forecast. Me and my family laughed really hard that day. Probably cause I was soaked, cold, and shivering when I came back in the house. Now I am the go to person for weather information in my family, for my friends, and even at school. Because when there’s a blizzard, I always hear, “Do you think school is gonna be closed?”
We’re not gonna beat around the bush or anything. I mean getting into meteorology, that’s not the easiest fields to get into. You have to be really willing to do it. I applied to Cornell University and that is a really hard school to get into but, I always like to challenge myself. And the reason I did this story is that I hope it inspires other teenagers who hear it or other people in general is just to never doubt yourself, always challenge yourself, just never be scared to do something because the worse that can happen is people say no.
Now of course getting a degree to become a broadcast meteorologist will not be easy. I will have to take physics and calculus, 1 through probably 4, and all that fun stuff, because it’s required. At the end of the day, when I walk across the stage in college and get my degree, that won’t be the end for me. It will just be the beginning.
DeVontae Jackson is a senior at Ponitz CTC High School. Special Thanks to Ponitz Radio media arts instructors Joanne Viskup and Jeffrey Crowell and to Katie Davis. Learn more at the school's website: http://ponitzctc.org. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.