Malick Mercier is one of Spring Creek Towers’ Scholarship Pro-gram’s 2017 Winners. Mercier is attending Ithaca College and is majoring in Journalism. This young man is living out his dream and doors have been opening that he didn’t expect to happen so quickly.
Every person decides early in life what they want to be or what they want to do when they are “older”. This Brooklyn born and bred young man decided when he was a child that he wanted to be a bus driver, then later on he developed his love and passion for aviation but, decided that he wanted to explore theater. When it was time for Malick Mercier to decide which high school to go to, he chose Fiorello H LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. His major was drama.
“I always watched the news and I thought that was normal. I thought that everyone watched the news,” said Mercier. It was in a workshop that he learned about from his high school with ABC’s Eyewitness News’ Sade Baderinwa’s “Get Reel with Your Dreams” that Mercier decided that a career in Journalism was for him.
“I had the opportunity to meet with reporters and learn from them at this one day panel, one session was ‘Live Reporting’ and another one was ‘Making your story stand out’ these sessions really inspired me because one was with David Muir’s head writer from ABC World News Tonight, Lisa Ferry. She showed a video of David walking through a house and flipping everything over and showing that nothing was Made in America. The segment was called Made in America, since airing there have been more jobs to come to this country by proving that no one really had anything that was made here in their home and simply by the fact that they were able to change things, I thought that was really very cool and I think that is how I learned that you can make change through it and that is what inspired me,” said Mercier. After attending that workshop, Malick grew more interested in the Journalism field and how he could change the world.
At LaGuardia High School there was a Disney volunteer program run by Sade’s stage manager and there were all sorts of people involved with the seminar, “Get Reel with Your Dream” there were directors, and people from management there. This was a vast group of people to learn from. Requirements for this opportunity were to have done some community service, which I already was doing and, write why I should attend and I was selected,” said Mercier. Disney’s mentoring program was in Mercier’s school. This is where Mercier was able to connect with people who he might end up working with one day. Mercier was able to work with several people from ABC as part of the volunteer program. “After taking part in Get Reel, I decided that I not only wanted to watch the news but, I wanted to be a part of the news,” said Mercier happily. That was the decision maker of what he wanted to aspire to.
Mercier traveled to family events in Georgia and Louisiana, every other year or once a year. That was a highlight of his summer. The best part was the flight. Mercier never thought that he would be traveling as much as he currently is. “I did not have the LA dream that a lot of people do, but it was a real moment to see on the board monitor Los Angeles that was a real moment for me, I never thought that I would be on a flight that was going to LA. Once the plane landed at first, I saw mountains, and the skyline looks so different than New York. I then decided that one of the things that I wanted to do was to go to In and Out Burger,” Mercier said. He was only in LA for 24 hours, so he did not have the time to do or see everything that LA has to offer. He definitely would like to go back there and see everything that California has.
Mercier took on a lot at Ithaca College in the first semester, he was a tour guide for potential new students and also took part in three (On Good Day Ithaca, he was the Social Media Politics Reporter, for Newswatch, he was one of the Assistant Producers, and for ICT Reports he was the Feature Assistant Producer) of the college TV shows, he was a Broadcaster on one of the two college radio stations, and was a
Reporter/Contributing Writer for the newspaper. In addition to these activities, Mercier had a full course load.
At the start of the second semester Mercier said that he felt pretty good and that he learned a lot during his first semester and did not take on quite as many activities as he did in his first semester.
Mercier was selected by Instagram to cover the March for Our Lives march in Washington DC. How on earth did Instagram find and select Malick Mercier to cover the March for Our Lives?
After Spring break, Mercier received an email from an Instagram producer, she also DM (direct messaged) him that Instagram had an idea for a project and she wanted to speak with him about it. Mercier was just contacted out of the blue. He spoke with the Instagram producer and she explained that there was this movement Never Again and there was going to be a march and that they wanted to have a student cover this and post the story on Instagram’s own Instagram account. They were quite a few people who were involved in the process of choosing Mercier. Instagram researched for a student to cover this and they selected Mercier. Everything happened very fast like within six days after the initial phone call with Instagram. “I don’t think that I could process it at that time. They were talking about flying me out to DC,” said Mercier. Instagram had checked out Mercier’s website and Instagram account before they made the decision to have him cover this march. Mercier did not need to bring any equipment with him to DC, they just wanted him to report using his cellular phone. He worked with a producer from Instagram and a photographer. There were two people in headquarters that were uploading everything. “Everyone congratulated me when I arrived back in New York,” said Mercier.
After the ‘March For Our Lives’ coverage, Instagram liked Mercier’s work, he was then contacted by Instagram’s policy team to be on a panel moderated by Seventeen Magazine, “What I Wish My Parents Knew About Instagram and AboutSocial Media in general”. The panel included Aija Mayrock, (New York Times’ Author of the Best Selling book, Survival Guide to Bullying) and Haile Thomas, a chef who reversed her dad’s diabetes, who is 17 years old and inspiring young people all around the world to eat healthy. Mercier spoke about how people use Instagram for activism and the March for Our Lives and talked about how Instagram and Social Media have helped with the hashtags and inspiring people to come out all across the world. Both Seventeen Magazine and Cosmopolitan both wrote about this panel. After the panel, Mercier was again contacted by Instagram to attend a Kindness Prom in Venice, California. This prom was about kindness, and no bullying. Mercier’s experiences did not stop there. He has flown to Chicago to cover another march for Mic and most recently he flew to Gainesville, Florida to speak with high school students at the University of Florida’s summer Journalism Institute.
This young man has achieved so much in such a short time.
Photos courtesy of Malick Mercier