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My Press Pass Experience

By: Abigail Hennessee

Press Pass has been a fantastic experience. It has given me many opportunities that are once in a lifetime, and that I will remember forever. I participated in Breaking Barriers which highlighted Title IX where I interviewed a handful of women that were inspiring young girls everywhere. One of these women was Jane Castor, who was recently elected Tampa's mayor and is a former chief of police. Another woman at that event was Lauren Holtkamp who was the third female referee in NBA history. These women were impactful and showed me that young girls like me could do extraordinary things, like running for mayor or even becoming a women NBA referee.

Another impactful experience was when I went to the Tampa Bay Lightning game while promoting the Women’s Final Four. I rode the Zamboni – which was really cool! It will be something I will always remember and was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was able to do because of Press Pass.

Dream Court was another memorable experience. Dream Court is a program that installed a new, professional basketball court at a local school in an underserved neighborhood. The kids were able to play basketball on an amazing court. It was fun to watch the kids get excited about their new court knowing that they would be able to connect and play with others on it.

Press Pass also taught me many things that I can use later in life. I was given a chance to interview women that were inspiring young girls everywhere, and it taught me excellent interview skills. I learned to prepare proper questions, ask them to my subject, then base my next question off of their answer. If I ever have to interview someone in the future, I will know I am qualified because of the experience Press Pass provided for me.

I was also able to see all of the hard work that people do behind the scenes for one event to happen. When I was looking through all of the publicity for the Women’s Final Four, I realized how much work went into just one piece of coverage. I went inside of the news trucks and saw how many people it took to put on one production. For example, I watched the producer review the script deciding where to shoot various clips, and then set each up. Everyone got into their positions and helped make the show run as quickly and efficiently as possible. When watching the show later, I was able to see and appreciate what the producer had envisioned, and how the filmed pieces came together at the end.

After all of the publicity and advertising of the Women’s Final Four, I was given a chance to watch the game courtside. I will remember it forever because I was able to attend this incredible event. My experience helped me understand how everyone’s hard work came together, and how happy the fans were to be there. Press Pass was truly amazing because it taught me so many things, and gave me once in a lifetime opportunities.

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