The Last Page with Central Florida Bureau Chief Jeremy Williams

By : Rick Claggett
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Jeremy is Watermark’s consummate journalist, but it didn’t start out that way. Jeremy was a journalism major at Valencia College in 2013 when he saw Watermark was hiring a sales rep.

As an avid reader of the paper, Jeremy applied to get his foot in the door. He pitched the idea of being a part-time employee/part-time student. Unfortunately the demands of the sales position didn’t allow for that structure so we let Jeremy know he could reapply when he finished school. Within a week Jeremy had put his classes on hold to follow his heart.

Jeremy excelled in our sales department, although he had his sights set on writing. With no editorial position opening anytime soon, Jeremy parted ways with Watermark to help his sister in North Dakota. As soon as a journalist position opened, Watermark begged him to come back. He’s been with us, excelling in whatever is thrown his way, ever since.

“I love to tell people’s stories,” Jeremy says of his work. “There are so many of them out there and they are all interesting and fascinating, especially in the LGBTQ community. For the most part, we all had this fear growing up that we were alone and had to hide who we were. To be able to share stories of people in the community to show that we all had similar experiences and can use those stories to heal and be better people is a great feeling.”

Jeremy’s love of journalism stems from his role model and mentor, Valencia College journalism professor Ken Carpenter. Ken recently passed away, but his lessons stay with Jeremy. “He was passionate,” Jeremy remembers. “He didn’t educate us because it was his job. He did it because he loved his students. He made good journalists.” Jeremy hopes to do the same through his work at Watermark. “One of my many tasks here is to manage Watermark’s internship program, crafting young inquisitive minds so that they understand the importance of the journalism career field in today’s day of Facebook facts and ‘fake news.’”

Outside of his love of news, Jeremy is a movie buff. Last year he was WFTV’s Oscar guru on their local coverage of the award show. He will return this year, regaling the audience with movie insights.

To his younger self Jeremy would advise, “Whether it’s with condoms, sunscreen or your sense of humor… always protect yourself!”

Watermark is the collective product of a team of incredibly hardworking individuals. Over the next series of issues, we’re using this space to introduce each member of our staff and contributors to you. When you see us out and about in the community, stop and say, “Hello.” We’d love to meet you.

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