In preparation for my daughter moving to New York City I had signed up on Indeed.com to get notices of jobs. Using the keywords "television" and "broadcast," every day at least 50 new positions would find its way into my mailbox. Not every position was suitable for her, but there were enough that I thought she could at least apply to. I was excited for her, yet worried how the big city would treat her.
It's not the same as it was when I was her age, and having never "grown up" there like I did, I feared for her safety. She's never ridden the subway alone, and that was something she would definitely have to do, and who knows what time of day or night that would be? Although I do have friends and family throughout the city, it's not the same as having mom there as her safety net. I knew I would be spending more time in Brooklyn, but realized I couldn't be there every single day. I prayed for guidance and strength to help me through this exciting, yet worrisome, time.
In the meantime, I had also included Roanoke in the job search criteria on Indeed.com. In over 21 days, only one job popped up and it was in Montgomery County. And then something miraculous happened. On a cold Sunday morning my husband brought back bagels and the Roanoke Times. I scoured the Help Wanted ads as I always do, and I saw one from a local television station looking for a Production Technician. Reading the job responsibilities I felt confident she could handle it, and when I realized it was the very station she had interned at, and loved, my heart skipped a beat. I circled the ad and as soon as my daughter woke up, I showed it to her.
"This is the job I did. I'm applying for this." And she immediately did before heading out to work. I asked her, "What about New York?" "This is exactly what I want to do, and the only station in Roanoke I would want to work for. I'd take it in a heartbeat." I thought applying was a good idea as she could then say at least say she tried. My husband never wanted her to go to New York City alone said, "This would be great. She'd stay in Roanoke." I kept repeating the mantra, "if it's meant to be, it'll be" all day.
A couple of hours later the phone rang. It was the very person she interned under almost two years ago. He said he was happy to see her application. He remembered her as "she was the best intern we've ever had" and wanted to set up an interview. When my husband informed me of this, I about burst. She was still at work and I know she doesn't carry her phone with her when on the clock, so had to wait until she got home to share the good news. I did text her a brief message and told her to come home right away after work. She called as soon as she got off the clock and I told her the good news. The gentleman had said he would be available until 11:00pm that evening, or she could call him the next morning. When she arrived at 10:30pm she called, and they set up a meeting.
Although I was bursting inside, I tried to keep myself grounded. And even though she felt the meeting went very well, she was up against two other older candidates who had bachelor degrees. My daughter had the Mass Communications education in high school and intern experience so she was already familiar with the station's set-up. She also has a good work ethic, a current job where she was made "employee of the month" after 5 months, a soon-to-be-completed associates degree in social sciences (VWCC does not have a Mass Communications or Journalism one) obtained in one year, and various educational honor awards. I prayed they would give her a shot. We would know one way or another within three days. I told her "if it's meant to be, it'll be."
When the call came in I held my breath and waited to see her reaction. Thumbs up or down??? She turned and gave me the thumbs up sign, "Oh thank you, thank you so much. Awesome." Could this really be? Had she pulled it off? After she hung up, she said, "I got it!" We hugged and jumped up and down. "That was the verbal offer. I just have to pass the background check and drug test and then I'll get a written offer." I cried tears of joy. I don't think I have ever done that in my life. Most of my tears throughout life have been sorrowful.
Well, the written offer came the other day and she accepted it! She starts in less than two weeks. They are willing to work around her school schedule until she graduates in early May. As part of the position, she will be directing the weekend newscasts. Yes, at 19, she will be directing newscasts! And I know she will do a superb job and become a valuable asset to the station.
This is like one of those local girl makes good stories. Not only because she went through Roanoke County school system via Burton's Mass Communications program, completed an internship required, and then had that station hire her, but because of her personal situation. If you know us personally, or read my book, you know what I'm talking about. With all the hardships she's had to endure, she never let that stop her from achieving her goal. She never used them as a crutch. She just worked harder and gave up a social life to reach her goal sooner. When life threw a hurdle, she jumped it. To say I'm proud, and ecstatic, would be an understatement.
Once again, I know I made the best move ever moving to Roanoke from Brooklyn. My one and only regret is that my father isn't alive to experience her success. I know he's looking down on her, and she even said, "I wish Grandpa was here, but I swear I could hear his voice saying, 'That's my girl!'" I can hear it too...