I am Pete Villasmil, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a double major in political science and journalism in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela in a bilingual/bicultural family and moved to Clemmons, North Carolina in 2007.
I graduated from West Forsyth High School in June 2019. In high school, I wrote for the student newspaper the Zephyr, serving as Opinion Editor and Editor-in-Chief. In the summer of 2017, I was recognized by the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, an organization that helps promote student journalism in high school and universities in North Carolina, for excellence in editorial writing. As fortune would have it, I now work with that same organization as a student assistant. I primarily help with office work, volunteer at workshops, and promote values of free speech across the state.
In the summer of 2021, I interned with Qué Pasa, a Venezuelan newspaper based in the city of Maracaibo. This experience sharpened my skills of reporting to a culturally-diverse audience. I was tasked with producing bilingual content and improving Qué Pasa’s coverage of U.S. politics. In addition to reporting breaking news, I penned opinion pieces and a weekly summary of the most pertinent stories from the U.S. political scene. More importantly, I published everything in both English and Spanish to cater to an international audience. From this experience, I learned the value of my language and cultural background and its intersection with journalism. To date, my tenure with Qué Pasa has allowed me to understand the nuances of different audiences that lack the familiarity with American politics. I continue to contribute to the publication.
I also serve as a student assistant with the Krasno Global Affairs and Business Council, which brings distinguished guest lecturers to campus to present on topics related to history, politics, and international relations. In the past year, I have taken over directorial duties of the Krasno Lecture Series producing and editing recordings of the events.
I am currently spending a semester abroad in London, sharpening my journalistic skills at City, University of London. Through this experience, I hope to expand my knowledge of different cultures in Europe and acquire new perspectives on the issues affecting communities around the world.
I hope to further develop my journalistic and writing skills in my remaining time at UNC-Chapel Hill. Using my diverse background and bilingual skills, I plan to pursue a career in journalism or public service. When I’m not writing or doing homework, I like to read, discuss current events, listen to music (check out my playlist, updated monthly, of songs I’ve been vibing to), and eat Chick-fil-A.