Young communicators from Latin America embark on a postgraduate journey with SIGNIS
Over the last years, SIGNIS has prioritized engaging and giving voice to young communication professionals.
We believe one cause for hope is found in the next generation of communicators, and have welcomed young people into our Association through many different ways: SIGNIS ALC Joven, our Association for young communication leaders in Latin America, our global network of correspondents launched in 2019, or the many different workshops held by SIGNIS associates around the world, the most recent one being the Citizen Journalists of Hope, organized by SIGNIS Africa.
Above all, we want to give these young communicators a platform to express their hopes and testimonials so that they can share them with the rest of us. With that in mind, we interviewed Venezuela-born and communication graduate Maria Victoria La Terza from SIGNIS Services Rome (SSR). We asked her to tell us more about her multifaceted role at SIGNIS, the opportunities she has encountered and what she cherishes the most about her work at our Association.
How did you hear about SIGNIS and when did you join the SIGNIS family?
I was introduced to SIGNIS by chance! I arrived at the SSR office after having met Maria Chiara de Lorenzo (General Manager of SIGNIS Services Rome) at an event where I was giving a social media workshop to teenagers with a friend who knew her.
Could you tell us more about your role at SIGNIS?
My job is to tell the world, via social media, the work of SIGNIS in a way that they become interested in the stories of those that use media for a culture of peace. Via different formats like pictures, videos, blog posts and more, we tell the stories of those places where communications need improvement and what we do to support and empower them. I also write articles for the blog, as a SIGNIS correspondent, and create our monthly newsletter and all the content that goes in it. And I host our weekly program "SIGNIS With You Live", alternating with Maria Chiara, where we interview the people behind the projects we have developed or are working to develop in different parts of the world. We also interview SIGNIS members or people that have been involved in SIGNIS' initiatives to deepen people's knowledge about the work of SSR and SIGNIS.
Are you currently working on any exciting projects you would like to share?
We are currently gathering stories from every one of the projects we have done in the past. We are asking people how they first got in touch with SSR and how has the relationship been like throughout the development and implementation of the project they first contacted us for. The goal is to create a booklet that contains the key information about these projects that draws people's attention to the stories of those communities, and the impact communication can have.
From your personal experience, what have been the main benefits of joining our Association?
The people I've met is what I cherish the most. Since day one, I was welcomed with open arms, and when I enter the office, I feel at home. I have built a strong relationship with my work colleagues at the office in Rome, and I have also had the chance to be in contact with SIGNIS members from all over the world that have been just as kind. It has been very inspirational for a young communicator like me to have the chance to talk with people that have such a vast experience in the field and to receive their words of courage and feedback about my work. Another plus of SIGNIS is its international nature. I have always loved to be surrounded by people from different countries and cultures, and that's something that is always present at SIGNIS. Even if it can be complicated to arrange everything with the different time zones, getting to work with people from so many different places is something I find very interesting and valuable.
What message would you like to send to young people interested in joining SIGNIS?
The kindness and honesty you will find here are hard to find anywhere else. Every single person I have encountered since I entered SIGNIS has been wonderful. They are supportive, ready to hear your ideas and encourage you. I feel that my team cherishes my presence, and that makes me want to excel even more, as I want to keep proving them, and myself, that I can be better every day. That the work I do, alongside their support, can keep improving as new opportunities and challenges arise, which brings us all closer to promoting media for a culture of peace, as we are igniting that flame ourselves.