Michelle Zhu is a reporter for FOX Carolina. She joined the FOX Carolina News team on June 17, 2019.
Zhu is an Anderson, SC native and a University of South Carolina graduate. She earned a degree in broadcast journalism.
I kicked off my journalism career reporting for WACH FOX News in Columbia as a dayside and nightside reporter throughout the week. I spent the last few months of my time there as a morning reporter. One of the most memorable moments in my career was covering the historic total solar eclipse of August 2017. Columbia was considered to be directly along the path of totality. I spent the day at Riverbanks Zoo, where thousands spent the day to see how the animals would react!
On the weekends, I love to stay active in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, lounging, or reading a good book while soaking up some vitamin D. I also enjoy cooking and trying new recipes for other people!
My favorite movies are Forrest Gump, O Brother Where Art Thou, Shawshank Redemption, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
My favorite kind of music: Anything upbeat and positive keeps me going (Beach Boys, Ben Rector, & Us The Duo are a few of many favorite artists).
I am a foodie and not picky at all. But I will never turn down tacos or Asian cuisine.
By the way, I can make a beautiful, delicious latticed apple pie (crust and all!).
Cooking and baking are some of my hobbies and well as hiking, reading, and weightlifting.
don’t have any pets right now, but adopting some four-legged friends is definitely in the plan. Yellow labs are my fave.
Volunteer Work: When I lived in Columbia, I served at the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital with my church, helped clean up neighborhoods after recent hurricanes, and served breakfast to the homeless community with a local church. I look forward to learning about more opportunities to continue serving in the Upstate!
Most Memorable Story: In March 2019 I did a longform feature on a pastor with a lengthy criminal past, who now uses his prison ministry to serve inmates and ultimately fight gun violence that plagued his own childhood. Beginning at 15 years old, Kelvin Jones spent years in and out of jail, running from police. He says it stemmed from neighborhood turf wars, domestic violence in his home, and being bullied as a child. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1999, but a judge ultimately overturned that. Jones took that as a wakeup call to do what he felt called to do from the very beginning—become a pastor. As a little boy, Jones says he would stand in the mirror and mimic his pastor. After his prison sentence was overturned, Jones went onto get his pastoral ministry degree at Ohio Christian University and started his own church in Columbia, ministering to inmates in nine different state prisons. I also spoke with Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who remembers chasing Jones down in the 90’s while he worked in narcotics. The sheriff told me: "Sometimes we have to lock people up to help them and he's a great example of that. Now he's helping others”. Sheriff Lott and Jones now often work together to host “Stop the Violence” walks in the city. Jones says combating the violence comes down to asking two things: “What’s wrong? How can I help?”