For Immediate Release
TV Reporter Robert Handa Tells EVC Students to Hold On To Their Identity
Hundreds of Evergreen Valley College students heard veteran television journalist and producer Robert Handa loud and clear: “You’ve got to find a way to not lose your individual identity and personal goals.” Handa was referring to the time he told his high school counselor that we wanted to be on TV, but the counselor discouraged him because there weren’t any Asians in television.
“And my counselor was Asian!” Handa said, laughing. Handa, now an award-winning reporter for KTVU Channel 2 News, spoke as part of EVC’s President’s Speaker Series, sponsored in part by ASPIRE, the Asian/Pacific Islander Resources for Excellence Program.
Handa told the crowd that after high school, he had no idea what he wanted to do, only that he wanted to change things. He urged his audience to do the same, saying, “Take an active part in the community because you need to relate to the world around you. It is so easy to get cynical, but you have to go beyond that.” To demonstrate his point, Handa showed several of his clips: an interview with an Hiroshima survivor who used his art to convey forgiveness; the plight of citrus farmers in the Central Valley whose crops had been destroyed by a freeze; and the discovery of a boutique bike manufacturer, who had designed bikes from bamboo that African entrepreneurs could make and sell.
“Try not to think of issues as large and unwieldy. If it seems too big, ask yourself, what can I do? How can I get involved at my level?” Handa stressed. A community college graduate, Handa motivated students to take leadership roles at EVC, saying college was a great place to lay down a foundation and find your way. “Here in the Bay Area, we have some of the best community colleges in the country. Take advantage of the opportunities you find here.”
Handa has also worked as a reporter/documentary producer for San Francisco PBS station KQED-TV and for The MacNeil Lehrer News Hour. He has won several national journalism awards, including top prizes from the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) as well as a first place award from the National Association of Black Journalists. In addition, Handa was given the ‘Community Star’ award from Asian Americans for Community Involvement ( AACI) and the first-ever ‘Media Excellence’ award from the South Bay Islamic Association.
ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to empower students to expand their human potential and to succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.