Charlena Tillett is from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and received a bachelor’s in English and government from Georgetown University. The rich diversity and political culture in Washington inspired her to listen to people’s narratives and discussions at a young age. After studying abroad in Mwanza, Tanzania and helping the journalism class at an all-girls school develop a school magazine, she recognized the promise and vast influence of journalism. Upon graduation, she interned with FilmAid International, a non-profit organization which seeks to empower refugees through film and documentary. She then worked for ESPN Radio and NBC Connecticut before moving to New York to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at New York University.