I never thought of myself as a radio journalist and I definitely never thought of myself as a sports journalist. After the Next Generation Radio Project, I can see a potential future in both.

I went into this experience with an idea of what the process would entail but I didn’t expect the impact it would quickly have on my future career goals.

Although I had experience with my college radio station, I didn’t know how to develop a non-narrated audio news piece. In my past studies, I usually focused on video, relying on visuals to tell the story.

During this project, I struggled crafting a sense of place through sound. I was used to guiding the story with my own voice or images, not through audio editing decisions and ambient sound.

My past journalism projects focused on topics usually involving the arts, music and technology. I didn’t think I would ever do a sports journalism piece. Other than a brief stint in recreational basketball at age 9 and a VHS tape of Space Jam, I didn’t know much about basketball. But, I do know about human dedication and compromise.

My story for this year’s Next Generation Project didn’t just detail Dimitrios Kyriakou’s basketball dream. It also provided insight into the sacrifices made for family. I felt impacted by this story even though it was outside of the usual topics I covered. I immediately wanted to develop a piece that would be honest to Kyriakou’s experience.

The Next Generation Radio Project helped me craft my voice as a journalist. It taught me storytelling techniques that’s applicable to any type of project I work on.

I look to the rest of my studies and into my professional life with more clarity than ever before.  But, I never would have gained this clarity without an open mind. I needed to step out of my comfort zone and into my future.