Student finds new direction in life through love of television

Mariana Lima and Mariana Lima

By Mariana Lima

The life of a man was never the same after he watched TV.

Andrew A. Edwards, 48, discovered a big passion for television production when he saw “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in a 2002 special about what it takes to air her program behind the scenes.

“I was astounded,” Edwards said. “An instant passion came over me and I decided to make television my number one goal.”

When Edwards watched the TV show, he was living at the California Rehabilitation Center, a prison drug rehab with a program that required its participants to write essays every week. Edwards wrote for approximately seven months and ended up learning how to set the goals that geared his life toward the opposite direction.

“When I was there I came to grips with myself,” Edwards said. “I started making goals, and one of them was going back to school for television.”

Back then, Edwards said that he had no idea on how to get a degree in TV production, and the only information he had was that San Diego City College offered a program. Unwittingly, when he first visited City a short time before the 2003 fall semester began, Edwards was directed straight to the doors that he was looking for.

“From the trolley station, not really knowing where I am going, I was led right to the television department area. I walked by a class, I looked in, and there were students doing the news,” Edwards said. “I think God led me straight to this place.”

Had God sent him to college or not, it is no wonder that Edwards has been doing a good job.

Edwards enrolled in both television production and liberal arts programs at City that fall, got A’s in all of his first semester classes, and has maintained a 3.75 GPA since, which got his name on the dean’s list.

“Television has become a passion and a major goal in my life and I will continue to pursue this dream until it becomes a reality and my career,” said Edwards, who is now three classes away from his graduation.

Professor John Hildebrand, a faculty member for City’s radio and television production, who Edwards credits some of his learning achievements in editing and camera operation, said that instructors appreciate students who have a desire to change their lives for better. He also said that the most important thing about Edwards’ story was his commitment – he went in search of a goal and persisted to achieve it.

Hildebrand also had something to say when it came to Edwards’ future.

“His future is as bright as he wants to make it,” Hildebrand said. ” I think he is intelligent, he has the ability to learn, he’s got the commitment, and it seems that he made a life change and he will probably do well and be successful.”