Being a part of the Kent State University Campus television station TV2 was always a goal of mine.
I started my college career as a regional campus student at Kent State East Liverpool, so I was eagerly anticipating working at this station when I transferred to main campus.
I wanted to be an active member of TV2 because I knew it would prepare me for a job after graduation. When I tried out for the first time, I was amazed by the entire staff and their professionalism. I had never seen anything like it.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how many friends I would make. I have made countless relationships, but I want to thank two guys in particular who have helped me in more ways than one. I see them every day and we have made tons of memories. I am proud to say there are more memories to come.
The first guy I want to thank is our TV2 Sports Director Mitch Meyers. He works day and night to make our sports department great and I want to thank him for all of the opportunities I’ve had at TV2.
Our whole department has to film Kent State sporting events for our sports broadcasts. However, it is very physically taxing for me haul around a camera and tripod.
I took a Broadcast Reporting class last spring where we used cameras and it was a great learning experience, but it wore me out. I finished the class with a good grade, but it left me questioning my career path. I thought I would be stagnant at TV2 because I can’t film as well as the other students, but that wasn't the case at all.
Mitch doesn’t see my disability. He views me as a valuable member of the team. I am the Portage Trail County (PTC) Sports Director and I also post on social media for TV2 during the Kent State football games. I really enjoy these jobs because I like helping out in anyway I can.
I ran Twitter for Kent State’s first home football game on Saturday against Kennesaw State and the OT win was glorious for the Flashes. It was a beautiful day and I had the perfect view from the press box. I even got to meet up with my uncle, Jimmy Taylor, who runs the soundboard at the football games. It was an amazing day for sure.
Mitch and I even had the opportunity to be a combo last semester on Black Squirrel Radio (BSR) with our show: “MitchNMike.” Our show was Monday nights from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. and we had a blast. We finished ranked seventh on BSR for the semester.
I really enjoy the friendship Mitch and I have and I will always be grateful for getting to be involved in the exciting things we do every week on TV2.
The other person I want to thank is TV2 Sports Corner Producer Ben Pagani. When I first came into the newsroom as an assistant producer, Ben was the first person who reached out and said hi.
We quickly exchanged contact information and I learned more about him. As it turns out, Ben is from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania so we live relatively close to each other. I invited him over to watch a Steelers game one Sunday night and he noticed all of the WWE stuff in my room.
We instantly became friends for life and we watch all of the wrestling pay-per-views together. Ben has a very magnetic personality and the ability to radiate positive energy and make people laugh. He will definitely go far in life.
But Ben is more than a TV star. He is a true saint. Last spring we had a horrible rainy day in northeast Ohio. It was still cold, but baseball season was underway. I had to cover a Kent State baseball game for my broadcast reporting class and I needed help with a stand-up in front of the fence.
Ben was there every step of the way. In the cold, rainy weather, he helped me with a part of the project I desperately needed to do. I would not have been able to complete it without his help. My cerebral palsy gets in the way during these kinds of projects, and Ben didn’t hesitate to help me. I can never thank him enough for everything he has done for me. My life is definitely better with guys like him in it.
Mitch and Ben have shown me anything is possible. They have shown me that if you work hard, you will open doors for new opportunities to show your worth. Not everybody is skilled in every facet of their field. You just need to find what you’re good at and continue to learn all that you can.
If you struggle in some way, find a way to stay involved with what you love and push through the hard times. Keep being a team player and you will soon reach your goals.
Michael Reiner is a columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.