Wilton makes “dreams come true” as a broadcast meteorologist.

WILTON – Ever since he entered high school, Jackson Dill had a pretty clear idea of ​​what his passions were, how he wanted to pursue them, and that there was no way he wanted to wait.

Those passions, he explained Monday, are meteorology and broadcasting. Now the College Television Award-nominated senior at the University of Miami is capitalizing on that hard work with a full-time gig, describing his journey that began as a young child growing up in Wilton.

“It really started with Hurricane Sandy in 2012,” Dill, 21, said of his fascination with the weather. “I didn’t really know what was happening at the time because I was quite young, but I remember how bad the storm was.”

The storm left him and his neighbors without power for more than a week and killed trees on almost every street. With the Northeast hit so hard, Dill said it was “pretty crazy” how a severe weather event could change people’s lives in an instant, and he quickly became hooked.

“I became a weather nerd,” Dill said, describing how he followed detailed forecasts and subscribed to numerous websites.

In his sophomore year of high school, Dill started his own website where he published his own personal predictions for all of Southwest Connecticut.

“I made my prediction every day,” he said. “For example a whole description for the next seven days, graphics posted on social media. Then, during the wintertime, I made my own snow day forecasts.”

Dill’s family and close friends were aware that he was interested in the weather and making his own forecasts. They supported his forecasting website and soon his classmates got wind of his forecasts for snow days.

“It kind of let me know that I wanted to do that and that people would actually count on me,” he said.

At one point in high school, he said, Wilton Schools Superintendent Kevin Smith reached out and told Dill that he had followed his predictions and that the two would share their thoughts on an upcoming prediction. Aside from the fact that Dill caused quite a stir on social media when weather coverage followed him, he was certain that this was the direction his future should take.

Along the way, Dill said, he also developed a passion for broadcasting and wants to combine his two interests in one career path.

Choosing college was easy, Dill said, since “not that many” schools offered a meteorology major with a successful broadcast program. He said the University of Miami has edged out Penn State, thanks in part to warmer weather.

There’s UMTV, the university television station run by his communications department, and NewsVision, a 30-minute weekly news program that Dill and his colleagues produce. Dill joined UMTV during his freshman year of college and has yet to look back.

Dill produces and writes general news and segments for the show, as well as help with weather programming. NewsVision’s quality was nominated for the 41st Annual College Television Awards, which Dill says is an honor to be recognized. A total of 54 students were nominated in six categories for the 2022 awards, selected from 185 entries received from 58 colleges across the country. The award ceremony will take place on March 26th.

However, the college senior doesn’t have time to rest until the awards ceremony, as he gets up at 3 a.m. daily to prepare weather segments as a full-time weather producer and backup anchor for WSVN News in the Miami area. Having previously worked for CNN as an intern and freelance producer in 2021, Dill said he constantly makes sacrifices to fulfill the dream he had as a young child in Connecticut.

“I’ve had this focused goal since I started high school,” Dill said. While he admits there’s still work to be done, getting his first full-time job before graduation “seems like a dream come true.”

In 10 to 15 years, Dill said he’d love to return to the New York City metro area to do his on-air predictions for the region that inspired him to start this journey in the first place.

About Mike Crayton

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