We are happy to feature 21CL Alumna Naomi Keitt, who is currently an anchor for FOX23 News in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this alumni spotlight, she shares about how 21st Century Leaders helped to solidify her childhood dreams of being a TV reporter and news anchor. Naomi is a graduate of North Cobb Christian School (2009) and of the University of Georgia (2013).

Paint a brief picture of what you are doing now.

I am currently the weekend morning anchor for FOX23 News in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I also contribute to our weekday morning show as a reporter.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

21st Century Leaders helped equip me with the confidence to know I could pursue my dreams. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a TV reporter and anchor. As a participant of the 21st Century Leaders program I got to experience behind the scenes of television news in high school which helped solidify my dreams to pursue this career.

And how did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

21st Century Leaders gave me a head start on presenting myself confidently and with poise. It also brought me out of my comfort zone with meeting new people which helped tremendously as I started connecting with different groups in college.

Which programs did you participate in, and when? What skills did you gain or improve through those programs?

I took part in Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience (now the Turner Voices Youth Media Insititute) during the summer of 2008. I was heading into my senior year of high school and the summer leadership institute helped expose me to my current career. I learned about diversity in newsrooms, why storytelling is important and how to be an advocate.

What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

My ‘aha’ moment came when we had to give a presentation at the end of the program. It was a group of us that collaborated together. It showed me teamwork which is vital to what I do now, and also helped me tremendously in college. It also showed me that as a teenager I could present confidently in front of a group of adults.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

21st Century Leaders helped me lead through action. Instead of sitting back and letting other people do the work, the program taught me to be alongside my peers in being able to effectively and successfully complete tasks. The program helped me develop my leadership style which continues to help me thrive in my work life right now.