ABC’s race and culture reporter Abby Cruz didn’t have an easy childhood growing up in North Philadelphia, so she developed what she calls “the key” to turning lemons into lemonade.
Those keys also unlocked her latest career coup. is to join her series of eight-part documentaries produced by George Stephanopoulos. Power Trip: Power Seekers and Seekers Airing on Hulu, ABC News takes a behind-the-scenes look at its own company to show seven new reporters the hard work it takes to cover this year’s midterm elections.
ABC News has long used election reporters embedded in campaigns to help cover presidential elections, but this is the first time they have been used for the midterm elections. power trip They follow the embedding as they do the drudgery to get the story.
“We are the boots of the field, and we give you access behind the scenes,” Cruise explained.
“I like to tell people that Kensington made me and Logan raised me,” said Cruise, who grew up in North Philadelphia. Both neighborhoods were gritty and dangerous, but Cruz argued that was what made her tough.
And toughness, as she told the audience in her 2020 Ted Talk — take a chance — It’s one of her keys to making it.
But nothing in Abby Cruz’s life suggested that she would succeed.
“My name is Abby Cruz. I work for ABC News in Washington, DC and am a board member of the National Press Club,” she explained in a Ted Talk. But forget all that for a second, as dreams come true here.
Her reality was more of a nightmare.
Cruz’s mother separated her from her grandmother, who raised her in Logan until she was eight years old, for a chance to become a mother for the second time, but physically abused her. was.
At his mother’s Kensington tenement, Cruz recalled: Every time her mother saw me, she would put her hands on me. Every time she gets mad, I get it. She didn’t like looking at my face. “
Eventually her mother kicked her out of the house and she went to live with her best friend. When she was 15, she left and never looked back.
But school was another world. She attended Conwell Her Middle Her Magnet Her School and then, guided by an instructor, attended the academically challenging Philadelphia Girls’ High School. Graduating from LaSalle University made her the first in her family to graduate from college.
But it’s not sympathy that Cruz wants people to draw from his story about his childhood experiences. She wants people to know that the second key to her success is accepting her own battle. Cruz believes that in order to seize the day, she must have the attitude that she is ready to die for this opportunity.
And she wants you to know when you will seize the day, nightmares will disappear and dreams will come true.
Cruz wanted to get out of North Philadelphia and wanted to be a reporter. “I was always hungry and determined. I wanted it so bad,” she said. rice field.
During his freshman year of college, Cruz received a call from the Department of Human Services to become the legal guardian of his two younger sisters, ages 13 and 6. Loads of full-time school.
Cruz credits her favorite uncle, Alberto Torres or De$oney (pronounced Demony), for sparking her love of newspapers when they were reading them. Inquirer I want you to put together an ad to help him find a job. she is, philadelphia daily news For her first internship, and allowing her to search the streets for stories.On February 17, 2015, Cruz’s first article was published. It was about a man who sold his popular carrot cake on the subway after misfortune struck and his brick-and-mortar store had to close.
It showed authentic stories about what is becoming Cruise’s specialty: real, resilient people in difficult situations.
The article became a newsroom hit and marked the beginning of her rise as a reporter. Eventually, her newspaper mentor urged her to leave the city.
She told the Ted Talk audience that seizing opportunities can mean listening to people who give you genuine advice. I had no place to live. But his freelance coverage of the March for Our Lives, a student-led protest in 2018 following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, helped Reuters, BBC , which caught the attention of ABC News.
And when ABC News offered to pay her some photos, she refuted with a request for employment.In 2019, she became a desk assistant.
“Desk assistant, entry-level job, but I’m grateful to have this opportunity. I started pitching my story. It doesn’t matter what the title is. What matters is what role you play.” said Cruz.
Cruz, who now lives in DC, called from her temporary home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. power trip Allotted her Texas and Nevada. Cruise was unusual in questioning his readiness for the documentary. power trip It would be too difficult for a reporter with no political experience.
When she turned to Stephanopoulos for help, he told her that all stories eventually intersect with politics. Thank God for what he did. He made it so simple and best of all, if I had a problem, he was one phone call away.”