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What these young journalists wish they could tell Gwen Ifill

It has been three years since the NewsHour family lost dear friend and colleague Gwen Ifill. We think of her all the time, and her loss was felt acutely by young journalists in the NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs. Four graduates of that program who went on to be Gwen Ifill fellows at their local PBS stations share the letters they wish they could have shared with Gwen.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    It is hard to believe, but today marks three years since our dear friend and colleague Gwen Ifill passed away. We think of her all the time.

    Her loss was especially felt by young journalists in the "PBS NewsHour" Student Reporting Labs.

    Here are four graduates of that program who went on to be Gwen Ifill Fellows at their local PBS stations.

    We asked them to write letters they wish they could have shared with Gwen.

  • Jaylah Moore-Ross:

    Dear Gwen, through journalism, I have been able to connect with so many different people.

    And through the Gwen Ifill Fellowship, I got to sit around the same table that you and your co-anchor, Judy Woodruff, sat every day to report on the most influential stories.

  • Gwen Ifill:

    We always talk about African-Americans, people of color. I want to talk to you about white people. OK?

  • Angeline Abrera:

    Dear Gwen, I can honestly say this fellowship has been one of the greatest experiences in my life thus far.

    Because of you, I feel so much more confident in myself and what I believe I can accomplish. You taught me to embrace my differences and to never let anyone degrade me based on my appearance.

  • Mary Williams:

    Dear Gwen, your legacy means so to me as an African-American woman.

    It shows me that it's possible to be a part of something bigger than myself. Seeing you on the news made me realize you did it, so I can do it. You paved the way for me so I can pave the way for others like me.

  • Mercedes Ezeji:

    Dear Gwen, you probably had no idea that a fellowship would be created in your name at the end of your career.

    I used to watch you all the time when I was younger. You were a major inspiration in my decision to become a journalist.

  • Jaylah Moore-Ross:

    And though I never got to meet you, I feel connected to you.

  • Angeline Abrera:

    Thankfully, our society has become much more inclusive. But there are still many areas where women are not seen as competent.

  • Jaylah Moore-Ross:

    You have not only inspired young girls, including myself, to go for what they love, despite the challenges.

  • Gwen Ifill:

    … investigations in Little Rock and in Washington involving…

  • Jaylah Moore-Ross:

    But you have opened up so many doors for storytellers behind you. Your legacy lives on, and your smile remains infectious, even to those who only witnessed your light on screen.

  • Gwen Ifill:

    Have a little fun.

  • Angeline Abrera:

    Thank you, Gwen Ifill, for being my greatest role model.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And Gwen lives on through every one of these remarkable young women. We thank them.

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