Hard Work Pays Off
Her long curly hair flows in the wind as she's on the go trying to find her next story. The stories that often go untold. The stories most of America usually overlooks. And, the stories that Vianca Fuster believes should be heard all around the world.
Vianca is Puerto Rican strong, and through journalism she's giving people of color the light they need. Just like many children of color, Vianca didn't have much representation in the media and now in her adulthood, she's making sure others don't have that same experience.
"You can use your craft to do something positive for the community."
But, she never planned to be a journalist. Vianca took a creative writing class her last semester at Riverside High School and decided to go to film school in Chicago. Before that decision she was determined to go pre-med until she realized that she hated science.
While in Chicago, she met her now fiancé, and she also discovered a passion for documentary, which led her to journalism.
Vianca wasn't in school long before she took a year off. During that year she moved back to Milwaukee and applied for an internship at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee: a radio station and online platform that does storytelling unlike anyone else in Milwaukee. They play local music every hour and create multimedia stories ranging from community events to giving people the spotlight they need.
After interning for a year unpaid, Vianca is now a full-time employee as a multimedia producer.
"There's a lot of Black excellence in Milwaukee and that's not being portrayed," said Vianca, and with her work at 88Nine, she's using her platform to change the typical narrative of people of color in the media.
Vianca's recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, and as a first-generation student the journey wasn't easy.
Yet, Vianca always felt college was accessible because as a child her mother told her she was going to graduate. And, according to Vianca, many Latino families don't always have that accessibility.
And in Vianca's words the "journey was ass," but she "absolutely needed to go through that," to be where she is today.
Vianca had to work full time to live while being a full-time student. She feels she never got the true college experience because she didn't have time to enjoy in typical college things, such as parties, going to BSU events and more.
"I would look around and my peers wouldn't have to work," she said. "I was exhausted all the time."
But because of her hard work, 88Nine hired her on while she was still attaining her degree.
And now that she's done with school, Vianca can focus on reading her stack of New York Magazines.
Speaking of New York, Vianca plans on moving their eventually because although she's making a difference in Milwaukee, there's only so far you can go in the cream city. Plus, there are many things Milwaukee needs to fix, said Vianca, such as making education a higher priority.
"We do our schools so dirty, and so many students and teachers are at a disadvantage."
She said more after school programs are needed to keep children off the streets, and she knows this first hand. Vianca's mother worked so much that the people in Vianca's after school program became family to her.
And as a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), she knows the potential the students posses, yet they're always the ones left short handed, but even with their short comings, the students can still come out on top, and Vianca is a perfect example of that.
"I'm MPS, so anything's possible."