40 Under Forty: Darling Hill M.A.

Age: 23

News Producer/Journalist at WCJB TV20 News

 

Whether it’s a business or community involvement, what inspires you?

News has always inspired me. And as a third-generation journalist, I take pride in having a hand in telling the stories that matter most to the North Central Florida community. Every day I ask the community to share their stories with me, so after becoming gravely ill in the summer of 2018, it only felt right to do the same. After contracting a fatal virus, and recovering from it, I chose to partner with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to help increase awareness for blood transfusions. Transfusions saved my life when doctors told me I would die. Working in news, I see people in all of their times in need. And from my own experience, I have learned that there is more I can do to help then just tell their stories. Which is why I have used my own obstacles and tribulations to try and make a difference in the community.

 

What aspirations do you have for yourself?

I plan to continue working in the news industry. One day, I would like to work for a network both on-air and behind the camera. Perhaps, producing my own reports and segments. I would also like to teach future journalists, as well. That is why I received a Masters degree from the University of Florida so that one day I could mentor young journalists in the industry. But, I would also like to continue bringing awareness to transfusions. I believe that what happened to me, was for a reason. I can use my voice to make a difference in this world and that is what I plan on doing.

 

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?

Every day I am helping the community in my work in the news. It is part of why I got into the business. Residents rely on journalists to tell them what is happening in their community. It could be something as big as a hurricane or wildfire, or something as small as road closures. But, every day I help make a difference in someone’s life, by keeping them informed.

 

What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area?

My favorite thing about Ocala is the diversity and opportunities that can be found here. You have a good mixture of a retirement community, but also families. You have people from all walks of life in a small town feel but in a bigger sized community here in Marion County. There are opportunities for a range of career fields from medicine to education and agriculture. There is also room to help young people grow, and I can say that because I am a product of those opportunities, being a graduate of the College of Central Florida’s dual enrollment program.

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