Carole Remick was looking forward to the 25th anniversary of the high school journalism workshop in Boston next summer. The ever-enthusiastic founder who expanded the program and kept it going by force of will, died Oct. 18 in hospice care. She was 78.
Carole predicted big doings next June and told me to come up with ideas about something significant that needed to be done for scholastic journalism. I didn’t have a ready answer that day on the phone.
DJNF began funding the summer urban journalism workshop in Boston in 1988 after approving a grant submitted by Mrs. Remick when she taught English and ran the cooperative program at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Carole was a staunch advocate for media diversity, for equal opportunity for students of color, for immigrant children and for the economically disadvantaged. Over time, the workshop became part of a larger initiative, The New England High School Journalism Collaborative, which mentored high school journalism teachers and produced school media.
The workshop was an extensive collaboration between the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Christian Science Monitor, the Cape Cod Times, New Bedford Times, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the Bay State Banner, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, the Associated Press, the Patriot Ledger and more.
Michelle Johnson, a Boston University journalism professor, said, “I was at a conference this summer and a young woman runs over to me and says, ‘You don’t remember me. I was in the very first high school journalism workshop.’ She said that summer was responsible for making her a writer. I was amazed that every time I turn around I’ve run into someone who has been touched by a program that Carole worked on.”
Zack Dowdy, a reporter for Newsday on Long Island, was a writing coach for the workshop from 1989 through 1998, while working at the Globe. He runs the Robert W. Greene Summer High School Journalism Institute at the State University of New York-Stony Brook, where he also teaches.
He wrote: “For decades, Carole Remick created opportunities for young people to not only enter — but to thrive — in journalism. She paved the way for a generation of sharp journalists who were touched and inspired to excel by her gifts.”
Maureen Iaricci at Regis College handled most of the administrative aspects of the program in the last few years. She remembered Carole as a kind, giving woman who was truly passionate about journalism whether with high school students or potential interns at Regis College. Carole loved her alma mater and it was there that she learned so much about giving and continued to serve.
Milton Valencia, a Globe reporter, Collaborative board member and 1996 workshop alumnus, said, “The program served its purpose and I am where I am today because of the people I met and because of Carole.”
He said Carole had a way of working you before you realized you were being worked. He said as a kid from a tough New England mill town he was fascinated by “this glowing white lady who was always cheerful.”
“You can’t say no to Carole because the question was never asked in the first place. It just sort of happens.”
“She had one of the best quotes ever. ‘Everyone makes the news so everyone should write the news,’ ” he said.
Carole surveyed workshop alumni to track their progress, find new recruits and keep in touch. She used adjectives like awesome, terrific and magnificent to describe the students and predicted great success for them in her unmistakable accent. The result is an impressive list of working journalists of color around the country.
Valencia vowed enough students who were touched by Carole will become “little soldiers” to make her promise of a spectacular 25th anniversary reunion come true.
A memorial funeral mass is planned for 11 a.m., Nov. 5 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 85 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, Massachusetts.