Shennekia Grimshaw is a familiar face to local TV viewers for her local reporting. But before that, she, like many Montgomery College students, worked her way through school during the ten years she attended. She got experience in retail, at a mortgage company, and with the Washington Redskins during that time. Now, three years after graduating from MC, she is a multimedia journalist at I-270 News WDVM TV station. When something happens at night in Montgomery County, there is a good chance she will be covering the story.
Grimshaw, now 32, didn’t always want to pursue journalism. When she graduated from high school, she first thought about going into the fashion industry or theater. However, the Takoma Park native wasn’t ready to leave her family and move elsewhere, so she enrolled at Montgomery College while she figured out her next steps. “I started working and taking classes and what I appreciated about a community college like MC was I was able to do it at my own pace,” Grimshaw said. She would switch between working full time and taking classes part time, and vice versa.
Her love for theater led her to an acting class at the College taught by Professor Elizabeth Feldman. “That course helped me to be in the moment and get into character. It gave me so much confidence. Without those courses, because I took several, I would not have the confidence to get up in front of a camera and go live.”
I started working and taking classes and what I appreciated about a community college like MC was I was able to do it at my own pace
Grimshaw graduated from MC with a degree in Communications and transferred to the University of Maryland in 2015. Shortly thereafter, she attended a career fair and found an internship position at the Hagerstown-based WHAG news station —which later changed its call letters to WDVM. After her internship, she got a job and is now approaching her two-year work anniversary.
“Local news is great. Every day is different and that’s the beauty of it. It challenges me,” she said. “I’m very fortunate to be here because I am able to go out in my community, give people voices, and share those voices.” She says local journalism has helped her build connections across the community, find the hidden gems within the county, and always be in the know with events and local politics. As a multimedia journalist, she shoots video, edits, writes her stories, and formats them for the web.
Grimshaw plans to continue to learn and hone her skills in broadcast and multimedia journalism. Based on her own experience, her advice for those pursuing a degree would be to not let doubts get in the way. “Continue on, do your work, and stay on the path.”