TV host inspires moral courage

COURTESY PHOTO John Quinones, an ABC reporter and host of the popular show Primetime: What Would You Do?, will visit Amarillo Feb. 24.

Each year, the Student Government Association invites a Distinguished Lecturer to Amarillo College to speak on a topic related to the Common Reader.

This year’s speaker, ABC reporter John Quinones, has worked for years to shine light on the 2014-15 theme: moral courage.

COURTESY PHOTO John Quinones, an ABC reporter and host of the popular show Primetime: What Would You Do?, will visit Amarillo Feb. 24.
COURTESY PHOTO
John Quinones, an ABC reporter and host of the popular show Primetime: What Would You Do?, will visit Amarillo Feb. 24.

“This is an awesome opportunity, to be in the same room and hear what someone with such talent has to say,” said Andrew Alexander, SGA president. “All of the profit made for this goes back to the students of Amarillo College, and particularly for scholarships to the Student Government Association.”

Quinones was the first Latino correspondent for ABC. He has worked for the network almost 30 years, most recently as anchor of the hit series, Primetime: What Would You Do? The hidden camera show focuses on how and why bystanders react when witnessing scenes of moral dilemma.

“All Student Life offerings are meant to enhance the educational experience,” said April Sessler, associate vice president of student affairs. “You’re going to class, reading a book and listening to a lecture to go home and repeat it all the next day, but when you interact outside of the four walls, you could pick up something you wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s a great educational opportunity.”

Quinones was one of three contenders to speak at AC who included former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, who received a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters, and Richard Phillips, an author who served as captain of the MV Maersk Alabama ship during its hijacking by Somali pirates in April 2009. Quinones was chosen because he worked better with the theme, Alexander said.

What Would You Do? is a really good show,” said Preston Ward, a criminal justice major. “I don’t think I would miss a chance to see him in person and hear him talk about everything he has been through.”

Quinones was born in poverty and worked as a field laborer in multiple locations. While attending Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, he was selected to take part in the federal anti-poverty program, Upward Bound, which prepared inner-city high school students for college.

Quinones graduated from St. Mary’s University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications before receiving a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

His lecture will start at 7 p.m., Feb. 24 at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts.

For information on ticket prices and availability, call AskAC at 806-371-5000.

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