Macomb Township resident Charlie Kadado is many things: reporter for Scholastic News, anchor of the K-Group News online broadcast, motivational speaker and soon-to-be author. He is also a freshman in high school.
At 14, Kadado is just finishing his freshman year at , but boasts a resume that would be the envy of many journalists twice his age.
However, he did have a head start. Kadado caught the writing bug early and began to seriously pursue his passion while still in elementary school.
“The interest in journalism actually started when I was in second grade,” he said. “I started to be interested in writing after I started to write for publishers and I contacted publishers in New York City about some of the work I did.”
Kadado’s first published work was a poem included in the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.
“Ever since I got my first piece published, I wanted to get more published and I began to work on different stories,” Kadado said. “I began to cover articles based on news. I would come home every day and my dad would turn on the news and since then I watch the news every day and keep up with current events.”
Scholastic News Kids Press Corps
Two years ago, Kadado joined the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps and began to report on state and national issues in earnest.
His first assignment was the economy, focusing on Detroit’s circumstances specifically. The state of Michigan’s economy is still a topic on which Kadado is passionate.
“Right now the biggest concern if you look around is the economy,” he said. “The census here in Detroit dropped because of the economy. The latest story I did was on the census … But the piece was not a story to bring down Michigan or explain to the people that Michigan is losing population. It was a story to pick up the pieces and help Detroit become a better city.”
Kadado’s research on this story led him to interview Gov. Rick Snyder, WXYZ anchor Steven Clark and WXYZ executive producer Glen Barr.
“I had the opportunity to interview them and put together a piece on Scholastic’s website,” Kadado said. “I want to inform people of the facts, that yes, the population is dropping, but Detroit is a huge city. You have so many economic issues that are happening in the city that it is such an important issue to address and inform kids all across the world because you know, quite frankly, these kids, their parents may be losing jobs, the economy is affecting them.”
It was this passion to inform and inspire others that led Kadado to his most recent ventures: K-Group News and the Want.Work.Win campaign and book.
K-Group News and Want.Work.Win
Kadado started KGroup News in October 2010 to “not only motivate people, but to inform people about current events.”
Working as the producer, anchor and cameraman, Kadado broadcasts live, online shows from the studio he has built in his basement.
“With KGroup News, I don’t take a news story and explain it to the viewers, I take the story and I put it into a different perspective,” Kadado said. “Instead of informing people about current events, I’ll inform the viewers about current events then pick out a story that is inspiring.”
Drawing his own motivation from his ability to inspire others, Kadado started the Want.Work.Win campaign in June 2010.
Evolving from a speaking tour to a writing campaign and now a self-help book, the Want.Work.Win campaign is the result of Kadado’s own experiences as the victim of a hit-and-run accident, first-generation American, volunteer and lover of all things political.
“My biggest piece of advice that I could possibly give is to stay informed, because these current events happening across the world, they are history,” he said. “It’s not about hanging out with friends or watching TV shows all the time. Sometimes it’s about watching the news, about informing yourself and educating yourself, because your education is your biggest gift and being able to educate yourself will pay off in the long run.”
But even so, Kadado doesn’t always plan to just cover the news. One day, he hopes to make it.
“I’m doing journalism right now because I love it so much and I have a burning desire to do it, but its not something I want to do in the future,” he said. “My biggest dream is to run for office and do some local office and possibly even get into national politics, but that is my biggest dream or goal.”
But first, Kadado has to finish his freshman final exams.
First Book: “Want.Work.Win: A Blueprint to Change,” a motivational self-help book, written by Kadado, that includes about 10 chapters of motivation.
Background: Kadado is a first-generation Lebanese-American. He speaks Lebanese fluently.
College: Several Ivy League schools have expressed interest in Kadado, but like his news stories, he plans to do a lot more research before making any decision.
Big Name Interviews: Kadado has interviewed President Barack Obama, Gov. Rick Snyder, Spike Lee and Magic Johnson, as well as numerous local politicians and news personalities.
Kadado's work can also be seen and read on Macomb Patch in the blog section.