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Press Pass: An Unforgettable Opportunity

By: Janaya Thomas

Press Pass has allowed me to see a different career that I may not have considered before. I have always thought that a career in journalism would consist of writing articles on different events that are covered. After going through with the Press Pass program, I have learned that many different areas make up the media industry. Not only was I able to experience different aspects of journalism, but also participated in the Women’s Final Four. If it weren’t for this program, I probably wouldn’t have been able to participate in all the festivities or receive tickets to the game!

I enjoyed all of the opportunities to shadow various mentors. Each time I was paired with a new mentor, I was able to learn different things from each of them. I was taught ways to improve my interviewing skills, writing, and fun things that I could do behind the camera. All of the mentors took time out of their day to teach me or answer any questions to help better accomplish the task at hand. In the end, I was also able to take everything I was taught and use it towards all of my assignments during the weekend of the Women’s Final Four.

My favorite part about the Press Pass program was being able to observe everything taking place behind the scenes. Pulling off a large event like the Women’s Final Four requires a lot of preparation that most do not get to see. Everyone at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission had a role to play such as writing articles, running social media, coordinating interviews, or running a specific event. Being a part of this program has allowed me to see how everyone comes together and works like a family to get the job done. My favorite behind the scenes area to watch was photography and tech. I was able to learn about how videos, photos, and graphic designs were used for news broadcasts, advertisements or social media. I also had the opportunity to tour news stations and production trucks and see how news broadcasts come together.

This program has taught me a lot and was a fantastic experience and helped boost my confidence in interacting with others. Coming into this program, I was afraid to do interviews. I tended to get nervous when talking to people because I was worried I would mess something up. My go-to position was preferably a role behind the camera, but the mentors in this program pushed me in a good way. When it was my turn to do interviews, my mentors were patient with me and guided me as I needed help. I hope that this program continues to give others the experience I had. As a recommendation, I hope that this program expands beyond Girl Scouts to allow others the journey I was able to experience. Press Pass allowed me to bond with other girls who were a part of this program and has allowed me to work with and learn from an amazing group of adults from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

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