When Gabrielle Olivera was 8 years old she met then-NBC anchor Ann Curry outside the Rockefeller Center while visiting New York. This chance meeting was a defining moment and helped inspire the young girl to become a journalist herself one day.
Now the recent graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has started her career in the field by joining us as a reporter for the Casa Grande Dispatch and PinalCentral.
“I decided on journalism at a very young age. I became involved in journalism clubs in middle school and took it very seriously in high school,” she told me. “I even competed in a bunch of journalism competitions.”
The Florida native traded in the high humidity of her home state for the record dry heat of central Arizona to launch her career.
Even though this is her first job in journalism, she already has plenty experience. Gabby, as she is known by friends and co-workers, worked four months as a breaking news intern at The Arizona Republic. She also interned at Ability360, a nonprofit that empowers people with disabilities. She also completed two semesters for Cronkite News at Arizona PBS.
Gabby takes over the Casa Grande reporting beat, covering city government and the community school districts. For those keeping score at home, Gabby replaces Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa, who has become our new justice reporter as well as podcast host. Suzanne replaces Jim Headley, who was promoted to editor of our sister paper the White Mountain Independent in Show Low.
So far Gabby, who also speaks Spanish, is impressed with the community.
“I’m originally from Miami and came out to Arizona for school. Upon entering Casa Grande, I noticed a large sense of community among everyone,” she said. “The community is kind and passionate and I am so excited to learn more about it.”
As well as Gabby’s byline in the paper, you will also see her in front of the camera online. Her degree includes an emphasis in television reporting so we hope to use her as much as possible as an on-air talent for much of our digital productions. She is currently one of our anchors for our News in 90 video news programs.
While in college she worked on a mini-documentary production on military veterans on the Hopi Reservation and the struggles the tribe faces.
“It was probably the most emotional piece I’ve done,” she said. “To this day I often think about that story and everyone I interviewed. That piece was different than anything I’ve ever covered before.”
Gabby likes covering feature assignments, especially if they involve animals. She says she loves animals, especially her pet cat, Ava.
“Living in Arizona, I am always learning about new wildlife and sometimes even have the opportunity to see them with my own eyes,” she said. “I am always excited when I see anything relating to wildlife.”
Outside of journalism, Gabby enjoys art and traveling.
“When I’m not reporting and researching stories, you can usually find me drawing sketches or planning my next vacation.”
She hopes one day to visit South Africa and Thailand.
In 2018, Curry produced a six-part series for PBS called “We’ll Meet Again.” The series focused on 12 stories of people searching for individuals who changed their lives.
A 13th story could focus on how Curry changed Gabby’s life.
You can contact reporter Gabrielle Olivera at email@example.com.
You can contact Andy Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org.