Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

The fear is gone

It’s crazy to think that we are closing another day of SJI.

I don’t know what it is about these people, but it feels as though I’ve known them for years.

It might be the shared love for sports. It might be that we are all the same age and can relate to the same struggles, whether it’s failing a sports check or laughing at one of our classmates always being caught off guard in every photo.

I came into SJI really scared, just ask my parents. The morning of my first flight, I was a nervous wreck, partially because we were running late, but mostly because I didn’t know what to expect once my plane landed in St. Louis and I would meet the rest of my class.

You see, I am the first Aggie to become a member of SJI, so coming in I was afraid to fail and ruin it for those that could follow in my footsteps. So far so good (I think). If not for Iliana Limon–Romero, I wouldn’t been sitting in the back of a van signing to Britney Spears with a crazy group of music and sports lovers on our way to get some real good barbecue (not as good as Good Bull and Texas BBQ though, shout out to Aggieland) before going to cover a Royals game.

If it weren’t for SJI, I would have never have met Alaa Abdeldaiem. Alaa is in the middle of Ramadan. Because of her, I know now more about the Muslim faith than I did before. I have seen her stay true to her faith and make the sacrifice to not eat or drink water no matter how hot it is or how good the food we’re eating. She is so inspirational and honestly one of the coolest people I know that it feels as if I’ve known her forever.

I see this with everyone in the class. We all talk, we all tease each other, we all sigh in relief when we file our stories after Leon Carter yells that he’s going to block us. We are determined to succeed, and we are determined to help one another get to glory.

Whatever fear I had going into this program is now gone. All because of these 16 people. They made it easy to let go of the fears I had.

–Angel Franco