Duarte attended St. John the Evangelist Catholic School, and continued her education to Pueblo Magnet High School. When professor Ralph Chavez spoke to her school about journalism programs, she began to think about studying it in college.
Upon graduating high school in 1974, she was accepted with scholarships and work-study programs at the University of Arizona. It was at this time that she was convinced journalism was her passion, and something she wanted to continue as her career.
Carmen Duarte is now a valued reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, and she has come to hold her profession to the highest level of importance.
She enjoys to cover a variety or stories, however she frequently covers stories regarding deaths and new laws. Duarte finds it remarkable just how emotional and personal her interviews can become when they reach certain, often somewhat traumatic topics. Getting people to be open with their feelings and experiences, though often difficult, is something she has found to be of immense empowerment and beauty.
“You can’t force people to talk to you, and you have to respect their wishes. You ask, and if they say no, you respect that and you leave. Many people don’t talk right away, they may tell you to come back in a couple days, or call you… and when they do…it’s like a cleansing for them, when they can open their deepest sorrows and it helps them talk about it. Some of the hardest experiences they’ve lived through, in talking about it, they’re often letting go of some of that pain,” Duarte explained.
Her stories truly are inspirational and even come to teach her important lessons.
One example was of a tragic story a mother told of her teenage son, who was killed in a collision with an intoxicated driver. This led her to consider the implications of her own instances when she wasn’t driving with full attention.
She continues to put her all into her craft, one of putting the truth of matters out for the public to know. Duarte continues, through her down-to-earth personality and great kindness, touch many hearts in the process.