Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Part of the group—and proud of it

She asked me the question when I arrived at the Hilton airport hotel in St. Louis.

Her name was Kendra, and after watching nine others before me enter the building on May 25, the restaurant hostess wanted to know: Why were college students from all over the country talking about sports so passionately in her hotel’s lobby?

I realized at that moment, just minutes after meeting the program’s directors, that I was already considered as one of this group’s representatives. So I told her: I am a representative of a program that recruits student sports journalists from across the country for a 10-day boot camp designed to fine tune our skills before sending us off to a number of summer internships.

I am a representative of an organization that has worked to integrate minorities and women into newsrooms since 1993, a representative of a people with a passion and a purpose.

I am a representative of the 26th class of Sports Journalism Institute, and I could not be more humbled, honored and thankful.

It’s early in boot camp now and I’ve yet to understand the method behind succeeding at the daily sports check quizzes or master the art of deadline writing. But this week and this program has already introduced me to a number of unique, talented and inspiring mentors and peers. It’s welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home. Yes, tomorrow may bring unforeseen challenges, but it will also make me even more thankful than I already am for being one of this group’s representatives.

That much I know for sure.

–Alla Abdeldaiem