Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who, me?

As one of 12 children, I like attention. I do. But lately I'm feeling aw-shucksy. LDS Philanthropies is doing a feature on me.

Part of what they do is fundraise for scholarships. I was so blessed to get scholarships at BYU while I studied Broadcast Journalism, and they want to feature me now working in my field.

My uncle Howard works for them, so it was cool to see him when he came last week and took some pictures. Next week a videographer is coming to take video and interview me. I'm not used to being on this side of the camera and microphone! I'm usually the one doing the story. But I'm honored to help them, because of what those scholarships and BYU meant for me.

As Howard was preparing, he asked me a few questions about my experience at BYU. Here are some of those with my answers:

What was/were the biggest challenge(s) you had to overcome as a student at BYU?

My shyness, and my personal financial situtation. I applied for scholarships and Pell Grants before going to BYU, and re-applied every year after that. The day I moved to Provo to start Summer Term I got a student job on campus. I worked the entire time I was there, 20 hours a week while taking a full load of classes. (I worked for the first 3 years at the Harman Building/Conference Center, then my last year got a job as an editor for BYU NewsNet.)

The shyness I got over through the help of amazing freshmen year roommates who saw my potential and nourished it. They inspired me, encouraged me, and helped me come out of my shell. They saw things I was good at and helped me realize it, too.

How else did your college experience enrich your life?

It made me who I am today. I grew by leaps and bounds at BYU in my own self-worth and self-esteem. I found out who I was as a person, and realized God's love for me even more. I learned how to work hard, study hard, expand my horizons and have fun. I took ballroom dance classes, went to Spain on a study abroad in Spring 1999, and New York for my internship. I went to volleyball games. I went to the top of the Bell Tower. I stood on the sidelines of BYU Football games during Lavell Edwards last season for my Sports Broadcasting class. I met my "Best Friend Forever" in the newsroom of the Daily Universe and Newsnet.

When you think back about BYU, what is one of your fondest (non-football!) memories?

How to pick just one! Playing tag in the dark at the Marriott Center. The butterflies in my stomach waiting for my first live newscast ever. Watching International Ballroom Dance Competitions at the Marriott Center. Watching movies at the Wilk. Standing on top of the roof of the Harman Building to see the stars. Standing in La Plaza Real in Madrid (and all the other sights of Spain). Having Autumn peek over the computer at me in the newsroom in the Wilk and speak those encouraging words that changed my life. Sitting on the first row to hear President Hinckley speak. Sitting in the control room while ABC taped 20/20 with Barbara Walters. Writing a column for the Daily Universe and getting recognized on campus. Being praised in front of a roomfull of people when I was told I won the Earl J. Glade and Arch L. Madsen awards.

Please share your feelings about how your scholarships made your education possible.

I'm getting all teary-eyed thinking about this. Without those scholarships, I would not have been able to go to BYU. Who knows where I would be today. I wouldn't have found my passion for journalism and radio. And -- here's where the tears are coming -- most importantly, I may not have moved to Utah, therefore I wouldn't have met the love of my life and have my three darling children.


Sarah Preston said...

I am so glad you went to BYU!!! Go cougars. (please give me a niece or a nephew that cheers pure blue)

Suz said...

You are an amazing woman. I am so lucky to be related to you:)

Collette said...

You shy? Never. I know this doesn't really relate but you just reconfirmed my commitment to keep donating to the perpetual education fund. Going to college is life changing!

Jared and Allyson said...

What an honor for you. That makes me so happy. You definitely deserve to be featured. Please put a link up when it's all finished and ready to be watched and/or read.

You're incredible! Love you!

autumn said...

Seriously, you look so pretty. I think getting my picture taken would make me the most nervous. You aced it.

Yeah for BYU! Yeah for scholarships! Yeah for you moving to Utah! Yeah for BFF's!

This whole thing makes me want to cry.

Rachelle said...

I'm so glad you went to BYU, too, or else I wouldn't know your lovely self!

Lexie said...

Mary, what beautiful answers and what a beautiful you! It was fun to read them and think back to when we first bet in good old Lavina Fugal. I'm so glad you have been a friend ever since, hooray for scholarships, BYU, and amazing you (though I was a little surprised that there was no mention of baseball or baseball trivia - I remember being so amazed by you, but I guess you learned most of that before BYU)! Please put up a link when the story is done, I can't wait to see it!