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TPR Scholarship recipient on his new career: 'I was made for this'

Gabriel Gonzalez, reporter at KKCO - KJCT.
Gray Television
Gabriel Gonzalez, reporter at KKCO - KJCT.

Gabriel Gonzalez, recipient of the 2021-22 TPR Scholarship awarded through San Antonio College, knew at age 12 he wanted to be a journalist. In eighth grade, he shadowed Leslie Mouton at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, and “ever since then, I’ve had one goal, and I finally made it.”

Today, Gonzalez is a reporter at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he’s pretty much a one-man band.

“Here at these smaller markets, you do everything. You produce, you shoot, you edit, you write, you anchor. You do it all,” he said by phone. Gonzalez has been working at KKCO since early June, shortly after graduation. It’s a lot of hard work, “but luckily I still like it!” he added.

Gonzalez said he loves the on-camera aspect of the job, which comes with a bit of an adrenaline rush.

“I still get nervous,” he explained. “Sometimes, I have a bigger story than other [days] and I’m sweating before I go on, and I’m like ‘why am I putting myself through this?’ Then I do it, and I’m like, ‘wow, that was awesome. I did really good.’”

The scholarship awarded to Gonzalez last fall, funded by Texas Public Radio, covered his entire tuition for the 2021-22 school year, something he says gave him ample time to concentrate on his Radio-TV-Broadcasting studies. “It really helped me because I didn’t feel like I had to worry about the semester[s] I got a scholarship for. It’s just a big weight off of your shoulders.”

Gonzalez also praised San Antonio College for promoting the TPR scholarship and others to students.

“Just knowing that SAC offers opportunities like [the TPR] scholarship and so many others to students who could be struggling, or to students who could be going back to school… it feels really good that SAC does things like this for students of all backgrounds, all colleges, all areas of life.”

In his future, Gonzalez sees himself as a television news anchor, perhaps back in San Antonio at KSAT 12, or even at CNN or ABC News, two of his favorite national news sources. One thing he knows for certain?

“I was made for this.”

Find Gabriel Gonzalez on Facebook here.