Stamford has had its share of stars. We have our Bobby Valentine, our Gene Wilder and even TikTok stars like the D’Amelio sisters, Charli and Dixie (Norwalk, but close enough). Many people have contributed to the local and nearby social landscape over the years—one such name is uplifting others’ stories, but also writing her own unique narrative.
Carolina Ardila, a bilingual journalist for Telemundo 47, went from newsmaker to newsworthy herself when she won two New York Emmy awards this past fall. Born in Columbia, Ardila has spent a decade as a news reporter—eventually finding a home covering breaking news and general assignments throughout the tristate area with Telemundo, but also here in Stamford as a resident.
Ardila won an Emmy in the human-interest category for her story on Coffee for Good, a nonprofit coffee shop in Greenwich that provides job training in a real-life setting to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also won one in the arts-and-entertainment category for reporting on a story about a Colombian architect who left his profession to create urban art in NYC as a muralist.
We spoke with Ardila, who shared helpful tips for aspiring journalists, what it felt like on Emmy night and her favorite thing about the city that works hard.
Q+A with CAROLINA ARDILA
What is most rewarding about being a journalist?
I love to be in contact with the community. Listening to the things they care about and what they worry about. I really enjoy getting to know the Hispanic community in the tristate area and, on that subject, being the person who can help them and give them a voice—it is the most rewarding thing about my job.
What was it like on Emmy night?
Honestly, when I was working as a reporter back in Colombia, I didn’t even think I could win an Emmy; it was just something somebody else would achieve. But then, when I started working on Telemundo and saw the amazing job they do for our community, I thought maybe one day I could. That night was just a dream come true, mostly because of the stories that were awarded, stories about immigrants, like me, who arrived to this amazing country to work hard for their dreams. My story about Coffee for Good, that place deserved the award—what they do for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, giving them a chance to be part of the workforce—that just moves me.
As a Stamford resident, what inspires you about the city and its people?
Its diversity. Stamford has been my home away from home for more than five years. Its people and the community inspire me.
How do you find exciting and challenging stories?
I find stories everywhere. Talking with my neighbor, with the bodega worker, with the Uber driver, with my friends, with the people I meet every day while I am working. Being a reporter is being a good listener. There are stories everywhere. My challenge every day is to tell those stories in a creative way and give voice to those who deserve it. It’s the idea of putting myself in somebody else’s shoes.
What are your goals in the new year?
I want to grow as a professional. I will be taking classes and learning more about my community. On a personal side I want to spend more time with my family, quality time.
What is your advice for aspiring journalists?
Working hard for your dreams is as important as surrounding yourself with people who believe in you. My professional life has been a result, of course, of my job, but also of every single person who trusted me and my talent on every step of the road. I remember every person who believed in me in every step of my career and without their support I wouldn’t be where I am right now. But also, believe in yourself, we are all made to achieve great things.