News anchor overcomes early academic struggles

rluimorningexpress

By Alex Lamp:

After struggling through high school, Richard Lui enrolled at City College where an interest in English and public speaking led him to a successful career in journalism working for some of the largest media organizations.

Lui did not fit the mold of a star student in high school. He was in a tight situation with 200 credits short of graduating. Luckily for Lui, he was able to graduate five units short and with a GPA reaching as low as 0.2.

After struggling through high school, Richard Lui enrolled at City College where an interest in English and public speaking led him to a successful career in journalism working for some of the largest media organizations.

Lui did not fit the mold of a star student in high school. He was in a tight situation with 200 credits short of graduating. Luckily for Lui, he was able to graduate five units short and with a GPA reaching as low as 0.2.

“I almost flunked out of high school twice,” Lui said. “At my first high school I had more than 100 absences a year.”

Going to college right out of high school was not in Lui’s plan, and, with his family struggling financially, he decided to start working.

“After graduation I skipped college. My family was historically poor,” Lui said. “At one point we were on welfare receiving food stamps. Instead, I worked for Mrs. Fields Cookies.”

Lui worked there for four years before realizing that he needed to build a career and make the effort to attend college. It was during his first semester at City College that Lui took a real interest in his education.

“I found education again,” Lui said.

He decided to enroll in a speech class where he performed exceptionally well. It was the only A he received that first semester.

The City College speech team, taught by Ethel Beal, is where Lui’s career of public speaking started.

“In the end I found myself not only winning several awards for CCSF, but also a career in public speaking in front of a camera, and lights and with lots of makeup,” Lui said.

Lui’s inspiration for writing and reading the news came from MeMe Riordan, his English teacher at City College, who further shaped his future through her instruction.

“MeMe Riordan inspired me to stretch and enjoy English and encouraged me to read national papers like The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal,” Lui said.  “She grabbed my mind. She shook it and said, ‘You now have the responsibility to learn on your own, and I’m teaching you how to do it.’”

Lui graduated from City College in 1990.  After two years of schooling he literally cartwheeled across the stage after receiving his diploma. Lui was ready to move on to “the next step,” as he often says.

After City College, Lui transferred to UC Berkeley where he broadcasted from their KALX-FM radio station and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This led Lui to pursue news with NewsAsia, an English-only radio station based in Singapore that broadcasts in major Asian cities.

Simultaneously, Lui received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan while patenting the first bank-centric payment system with Citibank and launching it with a fellow University of Michigan student.

Lui currently works as a news anchor for MSNBC and NBC news reporting worldwide, anchoring daily news shows and pursuing his passion of political journalism.

“What’s great about CCSF is that it’s when you’re ready you pull the levers. No one is looking down on you. No one is going to criticize you, and everything is here for you,” Lui said.

Author: Online Content Manager

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