From an 8th grade teacher to a team of anchors and reporters at an NBC affiliate in Chicago, Emily Florez’s life has been influenced by what she says are some of the best role models a budding journalist could ask for.
As a journalism student in a Taylorsville, Utah junior high school, Emily says she caught the reporting bug from a teacher who was also a meteorologist at a local TV station.
“I was so impressed with how he treated his students and the ways he gave back to the community. I knew I wanted to be just like him. He set up a morning news show at the school where we, the students, anchored and wrote stories,” Florez said.
The journalism seed was officially planted.
As the daughter of BYU alumni, Emily knew from a young age that she wanted the best education she could possibly receive – and she knew exactly where to get it. As a BYU communications student, she was once again impacted by the wisdom and examples of great instructors. Some of the most important lessons she learned had to do not so much with the technical aspects of journalism, but with ethics and priorities.
One professor in particular wisely advised her to “ … keep good relationships with everyone, because you never know who may be your boss one day.” Another stressed the importance of keeping priorities straight.
Emily Florez previews President Obama’s recent visit to Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago.
“I know that because I have always worked to have good, strong, honest relationships, it has paid off immensely. I have been blessed time and time again through the people around me,” Florez said. “I also know that because my husband and I have worked to put the Lord and family first, we have been blessed to reach our goals.”
Those goals have taken Emily from a reporter job in Idaho Falls, Idaho to a coveted reporter and anchor position at KUTV in Salt Lake City to where she is now: reporting for WMAQ NBC 5 News in Chicago, where she was recently able to report on President Obama’s visit to nearby Argonne National Laboratory. She says she is blessed to again be surrounded by a group of people – now her colleagues – who are professional mentors with much to offer in the way of experience and talent.
“I am learning and growing at a pace I would not have thought imaginable just three and a half years ago,” said Florez. “The world has become a much bigger place because of the opportunities I’ve had to meet people from all over the world. I know that telling others’ stories has made me more open-minded and has given me the ability to empathize a bit more deeply. We all have similar issues and heartaches.”
While Emily can’t predict what adventures may lie ahead in her career, she and husband Rey are making the most of their time and taking in as much of the Chicago experience as they can while living there. The newest member of their family, Wrigley, an English bulldog appropriately named after the well-known baseball field, has been able to tag along with them on many of their outings. Emily says that from Navy Pier to boat tours to shopping to mini road trips, there is never a dull moment for her little family in the Windy City.
photos courtesy of Emily Florez