Be the example

By Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter

“If you want something, go get it.”

My mother has spoken these seven words to me ever since I was a child. Now, at 20, those words have played such a large role in my life. So many of the opportunities, interviews and positions I have been in all started by simply having the “go-getter” type of mindset.

It is important to understand that nothing is going to be simply handed to you. Getting to the place you wish to be requires a great deal of dedication, diligence and discipline. Twists and turns may come your way, but you must fix your eyes on the end goal.

I always ask myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Rejection? Even then, as Les Brown once said, “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop and the Lone Star Emmy Awards in Houston. As I looked around the room, I was filled with the utmost feelings of appreciation for an industry that I love so much. I had the honor of being one of the three statue presenters who presented Emmy awards to each winner that took to the stage. It was a surreal experience.

It was in that very room that my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities that exist in this world. I received a true glimpse of what it looks like to work hard and chase after your dreams. Around me were men and women whose work inspires and motivates me to continue to pursue what I am called to do and to go the extra mile in everything that I do.

Something that stood out to me at that moment was the diversity that filled the room. As a minority journalist, I want to break the barriers and stereotypes that exist. I hope that one day my accomplishments will inspire future journalists to pursue their dreams. These individuals are in need of a mentor, guidance or even just the inspiration to know that their visions are attainable. For this reason, representation is important.

Growing up I loved turning on the television to find faces that looked like mine. Even from the youngest of ages, I would always feel so inspired when I saw a black woman on the screen.

In third grade, my class had a states pageant, where each student would represent an individual from a state of their choosing. The first name that came to my mind was Oprah Winfrey, so I represented the the state of Illinois where her first morning show began in Chicago. Why? Because even as a elementary school child, I had the hope that one day I might have my own television show.

For the little girls and boys who have been told that their dream is too big or that they should pursue something more “attainable,” the world is yours.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

There is no limit on what you can do. What is stopping you? It’s time to be the example.