Grambling media students start school year without equipment

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
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GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Grambling State's TV Center was more than just a place where students gathered.

"It was my home away from home," senior Lanita Hughes said.

But now, on her first day of senior year, Lanita Hughes, and other students who use the studio, are homeless.

"When I walked through, i felt like a Katrina victim, because I lost my home, or what was like my home," Hughes said.

The building flooded back in March, forcing them into the Home Economics Center. Then, in June, that building caught fire, torching their equipment.

"Instantly, a tear dropped," senior Donald Carral said.

Brought to tears, because there's nothing left. Monday, the Director "Mr. B" as he's called, broke the news to his students. He walked them through this gutted studio for the first time.

"These are the kids this is going to hurt. They want to learn," Alan Blakeney said. "They want to go out and get a job. They want to graduate and go to work, and I can't do what I need to do without that equipment. I can't help them as much as I'd like to."

As they walked through, reality set in. Without cameras, it's hard to hone your craft.

"Right now, we have nothing," graduate Travis Matthews said. "In the television industry more than any other, you need practice, rather than the class work. So, the practice is more important than, 'I got an A.'"

But Mr. B says, he's trying to make due.

"I'm always a glass is half full kind of guy. So, i never say never," Blakeney said.

And, if the school hopes to keep this program, never isn't an option.