I stumbled upon this killer Pinterest board this morning thanks to my former teacher & mentor Mr. Mitch Eden. Scrolling through pages of layout designs and visuals made me remember what really fueled my passion five years ago when I was accepted into the Mizzou School of Journalism – the desire to make a difference.
As an 8th grade student at Oakville Middle School, I already knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – I was going to be a journalist. Whether I was writing for the back page of Sports Illustrated or designing layouts for Cosmopolitan, I wanted to be first in line with my notebook and recorder. I soared through writing papers and joined the school newspaper team as soon as I could. Playing around after school finding funny things to print seemed so juvinille, but I loved it.
I entered high school on cloud nine, hearing only the best about the Prowl newspaper. After waiting the necessary year, I signed up immediately for Journalism 1 and became entranced with Rick Reilly articles and principles of reporting. I knew I found my niche. That December issue of the Prowl was my first published work – an article about the 2005 NHL Lockout and how it affected fans and local players. It’s still one of my favorite articles.
The following year I took on the role of sports editor. Lucky for me, I went to a school with a pretty killer hockey team, so I was able to pitch stories and assign writers for our State Champion Tigers and more. I wrote the first Prowl article about Facebook, the quiet, college social network that was expanding into high schools. OK – I failed at predicting the future, but I learned the tricks and tips it took to become a real writer.
Towards the end of my junior year, I was pumped to start the following year of the Prowl. My best friend Jackie was Editor In Chief, and I was layout editor. It was going to be the best year yet, until Eden dropped a bomb – “I’m taking a position with Kirkwood.” I’m not sure what emotion took over more in room 234 – shock, disbelief or silent. The man who helped fuel my passion was leaving during the most crucial year of my career (or so I thought). Still, there is no one I respect more.
Senior year began and the Prowl was published as planned. I was unable to be in the Journalism class due to scheduling conflicts, yet I was in room 234 a whopping 14 + hours a week developing layouts, articles and even Yearbook pages. It was this time that I began writing columns – the prequel to Sorry I’m Not Sorry and Glatz & Glamour if you will.
I applied to the one and only University of Missouri without a doubt in my mind, and was admitted to the Journalism school immediately. I took a turn along the way, studying Strategic Communication, however I still learned plenty in my Principles of Journalism class and reporting. I even took a dream position with Inside Hockey covering my St. Louis Blues.
As I sit at my desk, writing up a document on the network I never thought would make it back in 2006, I hope that my passion hasn’t completely died. After all, you’re never too old to dream, right? Who knows, maybe you’ll see my shining face gracing the back page of Sports Illustrated someday.