Stuyvesant Students Interviewed on the TODAY Show

Interviewees of the TODAY Show describe their experience being interviewed, and their reactions to the final footage.

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By Abigail Cho

Sophomores and juniors at Stuyvesant were recently interviewed by the TODAY Show to talk about the newly formed social media platform called Gas. These students include juniors Caroline Stansberry, Tara Suri, and Sharika Shithi, as well as sophomores Fin Ying, Brandon Waworuntu, Nicoles Mota, and William Li. Gas is an online platform that allows users to vote on polls about their friends, spreading positivity with uplifting comments.

Due to logistical challenges, not all students were able to be interviewed in person. Instead, Stansberry, Suri, and Shithi were interviewed virtually. “[The producer] reached out; [...] she knew that I was a student at Stuy and she asked if she could have my number [...] I was actually not available for the couple of days that she wanted to do the interview, so we had to do it virtually,” Stansberry said.

In contrast, Ying was one of the students who came in for an in-person interview. For them, the interview was approachable, despite the more intimidating live environment. “It [...] felt like we were having fun and talking and chatting,” they said.

Stansberry describes her virtual experience in a similar way, agreeing that it was less stressful than expected. “It felt official,” Stansberry said. “I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know what to expect [originally] but [the interview] [just] felt like chatting with someone.”

While sophomore Brandon Waworuntu was also excited by the actual interview, another part of the experience that stood out to him was the many amenities provided by the show, making the experience unforgettable. “At the end, they [sent us all] home in a private limo,” Waworuntu said. “The ride was nice.”

The interview included a few quick questions regarding how interviewees felt about Gas. “[The questions were] easy to answer and they were [pretty] general,” Stansberry said. “[Questions included] ‘How do you feel about the Gas app?’ and I had to come up with something [in response].”

During their interview, Ying chose to discuss the positive aspects of Gas. “I personally think that the best part about the Gas app is the anonymous factor, because you’re able to compliment other people and send them little messages without revealing who you are,” Ying said. “A lot of people would love to take advantage of that fact.”

However, some interviewees were uncertain about the relevance of the interview once published. “The [video] didn’t even come out until a month later. It surprised me because I definitely thought [the producer] would have just given up on it by now because no one uses [Gas] anymore,” Stansberry said.

Ultimately, though the students were nervous about being part of a big television production, they agreed that the interview was a memorable experience. “The producers and everyone there made it really nice for us. It was really easy to have a conversation and [...] go with the flow,” Ying said.