How Roberto Ferdman, of 'VICE News Tonight,' Found His Good Luck Charm
While on location in New Orleans, people gave us multicolored cakes. Inside each one was a miniature baby Jesus, apparently meant to bring good luck to whoever finds it.
After Hurricane Katrina severely damaged many public schools and displaced many students, Louisiana seized the opportunity to experiment more with charter schools. This past February, I was in Baton Rouge, shooting a story about some of them. Right now, the state is struggling to separate the successful schools from the unsuccessful. We visited one school, which is currently on probation, for children with dyslexia. The charter had received an F on its most recent assessment, but parents, teachers, and students are adamant that it's changing children's lives. While on location, some people we spoke to gave us multicolored cakes—six in all. Inside each "king cake," as they're called, was a miniature figurine of a baby Jesus, apparently meant to bring good luck to whoever finds it. The crew developed a little side competition to see who could collect the most. Our producer found one almost immediately, our director of photography found another next, and our sound engineer found two in a row. I didn't bite into my first baby Jesus, seen here, until just after our last interview, six hours before we were boarding a plane back to New York. I didn't win the competition, but I like to think of it as my own personal good-luck charm. —ROBERTO FERDMAN, CORRESPONDENT, VICE NEWS TONIGHT