Last January I was finishing up my final semester of college. I knew that by May, I’d be sitting pretty with my English degree–i.e. sleeping on my parent’s couch unless I could somehow find a job. The career search beckoned. But I had a few itches I just couldn’t scratch away.
I wanted to pursue journalism, I wanted to travel, and I wanted to volunteer. I’d been lucky to try my hand at each of those things in college, and as graduation approached, I couldn’t stop wondering if my first school-free adult year might be the ideal time to do all three activities, simultaneously, full-time. Maybe I, too, could live the dream.
So I turned to the all-knowing god Google and searched for “post-college volunteer opportunities.” After many false leads I found myself facing a disorganized webpage with a long list of service programs in 10-point type. Many of the programs looked interesting. Possible, even. But as soon as I saw KNOM and its attractive tagline, “news radio in the Alaskan Arctic,” I experienced one of those goofy rom-com moments. You know, the one where you set your eyes on an amazing organization and know it’s meant to be.
And now, nine months later, here I am, about to embark on a year serving the listeners of Western Alaska. The training so far has been intense and rewarding. As the incoming Public Affairs Director, I’m starting to get my hands dirty, reading the broadcast and dredging up news stories. I can’t wait to explore our local communities like Wales and (fingers crossed) Little Diomede, and I feel honored that I’ll soon be finding, listening to, and sharing Inupiaq and Yupik elders’ stories.
I’m not religious, but I feel blessed by this incredible opportunity. Everyday I’m compelled to give my all to the station in the hope that, in the not to distant future, I’ll be able to contribute to its beautiful mission–to entertain, engage, inspire and inform.
From studying up on my future programming–
To climbing the Anvil of Anvil Mountain–
To discovering our house’s epidemic of tea–
So far, volunteering for KNOM has been a dream–and I can’t wait to keep living it.