Hometown Boy Makes Good

ADN Front Page 102309Former Resident, Parks, Pursues Dream Job In Nation’s Capitol
By BRIAN GELINAS

ATHOL — Some people are lucky, and are afforded in life the chance to pursue what they would consider their “dream job.” One such person is former Athol resident Corwin Parks, who, at 19, already holds a U.S. House and Senate Press Pass and spends his days behind the camera in Washington, D.C., as part of a Capitol Hill reporting crew for Cybercast News Service, which is based in Alexandria, Va.

The position is a paid internship which, in a relatively short time (he’s been interning just over a month), has already put him on the political front lines in the nation’s capitol.

“My very first interview was with the president of the Czech Republic. The second interview that I shot was an interview with Cardinal Roger Mahony, and, to be honest, I really like this job because I get a chance to catch people [saying] some dumb things on camera — for the world to see — which Cardinal Mahony did,” Parks said in a recent interview. “What’s great about this job [too] is the amount of famous politicians that you see on a weekly basis. Given that the team that I work with and I are constantly on the Hill, I have gotten a chance to see people like John McCain, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman [and others].

“I think that one of the shoots that really stands out to me is when my colleague Nick and I went to Michael Moore’s red carpet event for ‘Capitalism, A Love Story.’ Although I don’t agree with his ideals and didn’t like his movies, I must admit I was a little star struck. While I cannot give too much away, I’ll drop two names of people that I know I will be interviewing/meeting very soon, and they are Eva Longoria, and former President Bill Clinton.”

Parks lived in Athol for about five to six years with his father Robert Parks, his older brother Rob and their stepsister Paige, and their father’s fiancee, until moving with his father to Manassas, Va., this past summer.

“Although I live in Manassas and the news company that I work for is located in Alexandria, I do most of my work in Washington, D.C., primarily in the Capitol Building,” Parks said. “That’s the cool thing about having a U.S. House and Senate Press Pass; I can go pretty much anywhere in the nation’s capitol that is restricted to the public, including some parts of the White House.”

Parks, who will turn 20 in January, said he is not currently attending college but technically would be considered a sophomore this semester if he were. “With the full time internship that pays, I figured why would I pay go to school to learn something that I am pretty much getting paid already to do professionally,” he said. “Even though it is an internship, I believe that the in-class knowledge I would receive at a college would not compare to the experiences and knowledge that I am currently receiving.”

The application process for the internship included a requirement to submit two pieces of writing, and a resume, said Parks. The two pieces of writing he provided were a somewhat controversial essay he’d written at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner on the movie “Crash” and an essay he wrote at Athol High School on William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

“After submitting those, I guess they were impressed with my writing,” said Parks. “[And] Cybercast News Services offered me a reporter position.”

Although he was offered such a position, Parks said he asked if he could instead work with the reporting team behind the camera rather than in front, as that is where his level of expertise lies. He was given his position of choice.

Parks explained that his interest in the news media developed, in part, because of his father, who, while in Athol, served on the town’s finance committee and made a run for state representative, challenging current State Rep. Christopher Donelan (D-Orange).

“Growing up, my father has been deep into politics. Whether it is running for Congress in Los Angeles or running for state representative in Athol, I’ve always been right there with him,” Parks said. “Also, my father has always been in television, so I guess you can say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Everything that I know, he has taught me, and also with the help of Athol-Orange Television. Most people know that I have volunteered at AOTV for about 80 percent of the duration of my stay in Athol, so, because of this, my aspirations of being in television were further cemented.”

The apple doesn’t fall from the tree for Parks as far as politics are concerned either, and he doesn’t hold back on his opinions. Asked about his thoughts on the Obama presidency and working in D.C. at a pivotal moment in history, he had this to say:

“Given my ethnicity, I would suppose that the answer that would be most assumed is that I like Obama and love him as president … Personally, I don’t like the guy; I think he has this hubris that is just sickening and isn’t qualified to be this nation’s president. Also, we are in a war. No matter whose war it is — because I know how people like to say that this is Bush’s war — we are in a war nonetheless. Shouldn’t it be the job of the commander-in-chief to back the general and the troops on the front line? Isn’t it his job to at least make contact? Or should the commander-in-chief be taking vacations and trying to get the Olympics to come to Chicago?”

Parks said further, “I just don’t agree with his policies; simply, his extreme liberal views. Capitalism is out and socialism is in. I also don’t like the fact that he won the presidency because he is black rather than what he proposed to do.

“Also, I would like to know what he hopes to change. I mean, all we hear is ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ but it is never clarified what is set to change and what is of significance that we should hope for.”

Although he had the idea he would start out in the news media genre and is currently amid the political hotbed, Parks said he would, in the long term, “love to work somewhere for Fox NFL Sunday or NFL On CBS. “I mean, I do like the news media genre because you get to see first hand what is going on in politics and in our country before the media bias and spin,” he said.. “But as for a career until I eventually retire, I don’t see this genre being the ‘end all, be all’ for me.”

Parks’ interest in working in the sports field is likely fed by his love for the game of football. “I have this infatuation with the game … I played football for Athol under Rocky Stone — a great coach — where I suffered a drastic shoulder injury,” he explained. “That injury completely killed any thought of playing in college, or even professionally … When I’m not watching NFL Network, or working, I can be found writing and/or drawing.”

Commenting on his son’s foray into the field of on-line news casting and his success at being chosen for the internship, Robert said recently, “Cory has seemed to turn his life around. Once given some opportunities, he’s more than taken advantage of them and is laying the groundwork for a fine career. I don’t know how proud I am of him yet [though], because he’s doing what he should be, but if Cory continues to grow, many people in Athol might proudly say they knew him ‘when.’”

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  • Hank

    Cory – this is Outstanding.

    Semper Fi, Hank

  • ejobst

    Parkys– Excellent to see some home town talent out in the nations capitol! I am studying english up here at school and it is good to hear some other young work. Keep up the good work brother.

    -Jobst

  • http://sgthartsock.blogspot.com/ Nicolas

    that sounds rad, Cory. would love to see some of your art.

    Hell, I can only draw simplistic 2-D stuff, nothing close to comic book characters, so hat’s off to ya, even though I am a big big fan of Marvel and Batman

  • http://darcsfalcon.wordpress.com DarcsFalcon

    I can see the proud daddy smile from here. :D

    Great job, both of you!

  • TinaC

    Congratulations on the internship Cory!
    Excellent read.

  • MissJean

    Great piece. However, I’d love to see his essay on “Crash”. I hated that movie.

  • ex-pat Michael

    Where is the ‘like’ button? Oh, wait, this isn’t Facebook. Great job and congratulations, Cory! Blessings as you pursue this field.

  • TexRex

    Cory,

    Top Notch, and a chip off the old block to boot! I’d love to read the “somewhat controversial essay on the movie Crash” I’m very interested in your thoughts on the film.

    Great job Bob, keep it up!

  • OldnyFirefighter

    Hey Cory, when I first met you, I was very impressed. I still am! That said, I wish you every success in all of your endeavors. You have done very well for a young lad & I know your Father is very proud of you even though he says he is waiting. He & I both know he is bustin with pride for the son you are & he has every reason to be. I know both of you will be successful in the future as well. Congratulations to both of you & I hope to see you again in the near future. If either of you ever need someone to watch your back, just call, I’ll be there.
    Watch out for those ladies Cory, they are looking for good looking Professional guys!
    OldNYFirefighter

  • carolinagirl

    Cory your words touched this Marine Mom’s heart…

    ““Shouldn’t it be the job of the commander-in-chief to back the general and the troops on the front line? Isn’t it his job to at least make contact? Or should the commander-in-chief be taking vacations and trying to get the Olympics to come to Chicago?””

    As the days go by I think many people have those same thoughts – our armed forces are made up of all of America, our president doesn’t seem to realize that …

    Good luck to you in your career path – you have made an awesome start! Congrats!

  • http://didyouseethis.wordpress.com/ Mary Ann

    Outstanding Cory!!

  • Palmetto

    Congratulations Cory! You’re destined for success.

  • nosredna1

    Congratulations, Cory! Bob, you’ve done your job right!

  • coryparks27

    Thank you everyone for your great words!

    Nicolas Says:
    October 23rd, 2009 at 4:31 pm,

    [...] what sorts of things does Cory write and what does he draw?

    Well, as far as drawing goes, drawing is something that I do when I’m bored so I don’t really do it all that often anymore. But, I like to draw mostly Marvel and D.C. characters, I am also a fan of Todd McFarlane, so some of his stuff as well. I also draw what I see which I’m still attempting to perfect.

    As far as writing goes, I write all sorts of things. From things that annoy me, to things that interest me. Like drawing, I don’t write very often but when I write, a lot cones out. I’ll post the writing samples that I submitted to get the internship as well this piece that may be somewhat controversial because I have a bone to pick with the Batman Begins and Dark Knight movies. haha. So be on the look out for those.

    Thank you all,

    Corwin

  • The Machine

    Very Strong Performance.

  • SFJ

    Wow! I was reading some of the things he said and thought it was Bob saying them! Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. As someone else said, glad things have truned around for you and yours.

    Now, don’t let Cory catch Potomac Fever and become an “inside the Beltway” lib! Congrats!

  • http://black-and-right.com Bob

    I’ll let him answer that later.

    I do have a short blog entry of his pending…

  • http://sgthartsock.blogspot.com/ Nicolas

    hmm, the football injury explains the complications with his shoulder recently, what a bummer..

    also, I have to say Bob, you’ve taught and raised a VERY SOLID son, Cory is definitely a chip off the ol’ block, and he definitely will be go far. It’s amazing that he’s accomplished so far. That is GREAT! it’d be interesting if he could have the periodic column here on the homepage, same as the ‘tabby’ girl.

    I love how shot across the bow at Obama..

    “Given my ethnicity, I would suppose that the answer that would be most assumed is that I like Obama and love him as president … Personally, I don’t like the guy; I think he has this hubris that is just sickening and isn’t qualified to be this nation’s president. Also, we are in a war. No matter whose war it is — because I know how people like to say that this is Bush’s war — we are in a war nonetheless. Shouldn’t it be the job of the commander-in-chief to back the general and the troops on the front line? Isn’t it his job to at least make contact? Or should the commander-in-chief be taking vacations and trying to get the Olympics to come to Chicago?”
    I just don’t agree with his policies; simply, his extreme liberal views. Capitalism is out and socialism is in. I also don’t like the fact that he won the presidency because he is black rather than what he proposed to do.
    Also, I would like to know what he hopes to change. I mean, all we hear is ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ but it is never clarified what is set to change and what is of significance that we should hope for.”

    that was awesome.

    what sorts of things does Cory write and what does he draw?

  • cmjcex

    So…., are we now to address and refer to you by your more formal given name, Robert?

  • patriotgirl

    Congrats to both!!!

  • http://mauser.livejournal.com Mauser

    Considering all the trouble you two had in the past, this is so gratifying to read.

  • http://sgthartsock.blogspot.com/ Nicolas

    that is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Congrats all around!

  • breadbasket

    Great opportunity! I would have done anything for that kind of opportunity when I was younger. You get alot of inside stuff we are not privy to.

  • http://corydoo.blogspot.com Doo

    Love it!!!