HARRIS' HEROES

Harris' Heroes: D.C. students impress with self-made, hard-hitting news show

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The countdown began. All students were poised and ready.

And then, the very first TV show by the students of Eliot Hine Middle School in D.C. went live.

For 30 minutes, the students get down to the nitty-gritty with D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

They asked questions like, "What lessons have you learned along the way as chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools?"

To which Henderson answered, "Hmm, that's a great question - being chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools is a very hard job."

Instructor Mandrell Birks has worked with the students for months, fine-tuning their writing, shooting and interviewing skills - and the students have been soaking up the new skills like sponges.

"It's interesting, and you get to learn about technology and stuff," said 12-year-old Mekhi Tillman.

Chancellor Henderson herself thinks the project is an invaluable one for the students involved.

"This is a very real-world application of how the things we're trying to teach every day play out," she said.

Birks, who is also a Sirius XM Radio host, said he wants his students to know they're capable of achieving anything they put their minds to.

The students said they never thought they'd get to meet someone "famous" like Chancellor Henderson.

"Interviewing her was an amazing experience," said 11-year-old Cynthia Horne.

And while the students still made a mistake or two, and have some kinks to work out for the future, their hard work certainly paid off in their inaugural broadcast.

"I messed up turning the mix down, but nobody noticed it, so that was good," said Jalease Dave, 11.

"These kids nailed it," said Birks.

Inspired to continue, the kids are already booking springtime guests, with hopes of scoring one interview in particular -- the President.

"Mr. President, I need you, we need you," Birks pleaded to the universe. "These kids are working so hard."

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