York College grad lives her best life on both sides of the camera
Aimee Lewis ’16 credits York College with setting her up for post-graduation success as an on-air news reporter for ABC27 and to become the co-owner of a videography business.
Aimee Lewis used to talk to her dad about how conflicted she was on whether she’d want a job in front of or behind the camera. She looks back at those discussions now, smiling. “It was a really tough decision I’m happy I never made,” she says.
Today, Aimee’s an on-air news reporter for WHTM-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Harrisburg-York-Lancaster market. During nights and weekends, she’s a videographer and editor for Fraimework Productions, a professional videography business she co-owns that specialize in wedding and music videography.
York College of Pennsylvania set her up to succeed in both, the 2016 graduate says, starting with one particular Communication instructor: Lowell Briggs. “He told me before I even enrolled, ‘If you come to York College and work hard, I will make sure you have a job in TV the year you graduate.’ He was right.”
Help from professors
Aimee says Briggs was the type of teacher who would never let her have any excuses. “One day, the bottom apartment in the house where I lived caught fire, so I called Professor Briggs and told him I wouldn’t be in class,” Aimee recalls. “He asked where I lived, and 10 minutes later, the entire class is marching down Jackson Street with cameras and microphones to get the story.”
During her junior year, Aimee got the opportunity to film a wedding and asked her partner in class, Francesca Belcastro ‘15, if she wanted to help. It turned out to be the start of Fraimework Productions, which the two built from the ground up using the video production knowledge they learned at York College.
When professors started noticing the pair putting in long hours in the editing suites doing independent work, Aimee told them she and Francesca were interested in starting a videography company. They offered Aimee and Francesca any extra help they could. “We asked them about how to start a business and got invaluable tips on what to do and what not to do,” she says. “They really helped.”
Lighting the fire
During Aimee’s senior year, Briggs helped her get an internship at WGAL-TV, with reporters and producers she watched growing up. “Walking into News 8 that first day was like walking into Disneyland,” Aimee remembers. “Getting to work with these people meant a lot to me.”
Briggs wasn’t the only instructor who went well beyond what might be expected, Aimee says. “Jeffrey Schiffman, who runs the radio station on campus, would take my classwork and submit it to state competitions,” she remembers. “Sometimes, I would get emails saying I won something.”
Aimee says it’s this sort of dedication shown by her York College teachers that lit the fire to turn her desires into realities. “On my last day of classes, Professor Briggs said, ‘Good luck, and call me when you make it to a top 20 TV market,’” Aimee says. “I can’t wait to make that call.”