Meet Michelle

 

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There’s something about telling stories that gives me a feeling no other job has ever been able to. I’ve loved journalism since I was a child anchoring the morning newscasts at my elementary school. I would get to school early to write scripts and do my ‘investigative work’ to find out what the lunch menu was for the week. I grew up in Hialeah, Florida. I’m a bilingual Cuban-American, a University of Miami Hurricane, and a great salsa dancer, but none of those things define me. If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be ‘passionate.’  I am passionate about my career. This is my story.

I graduated the University of Miami in 2009 with a bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and English Literature. Months later I started my career in small town Macon, Georgia where I was hired as an anchor/reporter for WGXA.

I got my first big story in the summer of 2011. A law school graduate was brutally murdered and dismembered. Police were interviewing her friends, combing the apartment complex she lived at for any clues that would lead to her murderer. On the day the victim’s torso was discovered in a trash bin outside of her apartment  I interviewed her neighbor and classmate. Turns out he became the lead suspect in the gruesome homicide case. The story went national after his arrest and I was invited on FOX’s ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ twice to talk about my coverage. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded me the Sigma Delta Chi award in breaking news for my enterprising and determination to stay on top of the story.

After working in Macon for over two years, I continued my career as a reporter in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012 and just over a month after I started at First Coast News I got another big story. A Jacksonville teenager was shot and killed on Black Friday over what police say was an altercation about loud music. I was recognized by the Associated Press for my coverage in a special newscast reporting the timeline of Jordan Davis’ death.

At First Coast News, I reported on high-profile stories like the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida, the Michael Dunn trial in Jacksonville, and the abduction and murder of local 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.

Some times people ask me and most journalists, how it is we do what we do. It’s simple. No matter how tragic a story, how heartbreaking, I feel like I have a responsibility to inform, to dig deeper and bring people all sides of the story.

In 2014 I was blessed and returned to South Florida. I am now the Senior Reporter at WPTV NBC NewsChannel 5, the news leader for television broadcast news in West Palm Beach. Read my bio and watch my stories on WPTV.com 

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