Ever since first grade, or around the time it became apparent that a pro football career was not in my future, I’ve had only one career goal: to be a sportscaster. And why wouldn’t I? Watching sporting events and talking about them is what people with actual jobs do for fun and for free. Other people work late because their boss wants the report done ASAP. When I work late, it’s because a basketball game went to overtime. For sports fans, anchoring a nightly segment about sports is like working in a candy store.
This dream inspired me to study journalism. My passion outside of sports has always been communication: reading, writing, public speaking—anything that allows people to share stories and ideas. As a child, I always likened sportscasters to professional fans, but studying journalism has shown me the difference.
The revelation came last semester, when a professor told me, “people are attracted to people. Always put the human element first in your stories.” What he was really trying to tell me was that sports journalism is not really focused on the sport itself. Rather, it’s about the people that are bound together by them. It’s about the shooting guard that’s studying biomedical sciences to honor her brother’s fight with cancer. It’s about the volleyball player that’s still playing despite severed tendons in her ankle because she feels obligated to the team. That’s the important stuff, and that’s what studying journalism has taught me to care about.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle in my life has been my mother’s illness. She contracted a rare autoimmune disease when I was seven years old that inflamed her muscles to the point where she couldn’t use them. For the next three-and-a-half years, I went through school with only one parent while my mom learned to walk, chew and perform basic bodily functions again.
I don’t want to make it sound like it was that bad on my end; mom was the truly brave one. But I am proud of the fact that I did everything possible to make it easier on my parents. Learning and getting good grades became even more of a priority because it would be a bright spot in an otherwise difficult time for mom and dad. The habits that were developed back then continue to today.
Graduating college would mean a lot, but it is not enough for me to just graduate. I’ve started off with a lot of advantages in life that could make graduating merely easy. This is why I want not only to graduate in the top one percent of my class but also to speak at the graduation ceremony. Most of all, I want to have a television job waiting for me after that ceremony is over. All of this would mean a lot more because I know I’m capable of it, and nothing is better than living up to the standards that you know you are capable of reaching.
We are proud to announce Andrew Goldstein is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.