Recently, someone asked me what I was passionate about. I wasn’t sure how to answer. Finding my passion has been something I struggled with for a really long time (and still do).
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a news anchor. I am a talkative person once you get to know me (just ask my family, they call me the mouth from the south) and I enjoy public speaking, so seventeen year old me thought being a news anchor was a good idea. I watched the local news every night and practiced my own sign-off in the mirror of my childhood bedroom.
After graduating high school, I attended Flagler College to pursue a degree in Communications. I had big plans of joining the college’s new station. However, I couldn’t do that freshman year. My sophomore year rolled around and I was excited to sign up for the news station class but it filled up fast and I got stuck taking the radio workshop.
I was not thrilled but decided to embrace it. On the first day of class the station manager asked me what my career aspirations were. I told him I wanted to be a news anchor. He looked at me and told me I was probably too nice to be a news anchor. I remember being really upset. This man barely knew me and just assumed that I couldn’t handle the news industry (I now know that he was right). However, I couldn’t be upset for long because a minute later he handed me a script for a commercial the station was going to run.
After giving me a minute to read it he asked me if I was ready and hit the record button before I could respond. You guys I was so nervous. This was my first day of class and I had no idea what I was doing but I began talking. After hearing the commercial on air, I was suddenly hungry and ready to pursue radio.
At the time there were no slots open for live shows, so I ended up writing, recording, editing and producing my own pre-recorded show that aired twice a week as filler content. It was called Catie’s Concert Calendar. It highlighted all the concerts that were coming to St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Orlando.
Two months after that I got the opportunity to shadow a student DJ who was getting ready to graduate. So, every Wednesday morning from 7AM-9AM I watched and learned from her and DJ Catie was born. And when she graduated the station manager gave me her slot and Kickstart with Catie became a regular live show for the remainder of my college career. I continued to produce and record my other show and produced and edited a show for a fellow classmate.
I finally felt like I had found my passion but was unsure if I wanted to make it a career. The summer before my senior year I discovered a new passion. I found great joy in non-profits and helping people.
Tune in next week for Part 2.