Yes, I spontaneously took a trip to D.C. that ended up being the most rewarding experience of my life as a young adult. A week before the trip, my godmother contacted me to see if I wanted to attend this sports conference in D.C. I knew about the conference, but it was difficult gathering a group to make the trip from Georgia. However, my god mom, mom, and I found a way to make it happen– six days later, I am leaving Athens, GA catching a flight to the nation’s capital. I sure did feel like a big girl taking my first plane ride by myself!
Now about this conference…
George Washington University hosted a 2-day conference called the Sports Industry Networking Career Conference (SINC) that was designed to bring in top-level executives in the sports industry to network and speak to students and young professionals interested in the industry. I’m talking C-level executives, VPs, and directors of numerous organizations. Of course, all of the Washington teams were present, and I interviewed with one club (a guy named RG3 plays on it). So, the opportunities were endless at this conference. Panel discussions touched on so many areas in sports that include (but, not limited to): sports marketing, athlete representation, driving revenue, sports sponsorship, website content, social media and the list goes on. My favorite panel was Sport for Social Good and getting to hear about the opportunities that allow people to help others through sport (right up my alley!). Some notable speakers were the Chief Legal Officer of the NCAA, Donald Remy, Future Hall of Famer and Boxer, Bernard Hopkins, ESPN Business Analyst, Andrew Brandt, and the most entertaining speaker, President of Galatioto Sports, Salvator Galatioto.
My favorite part of the entire event was the networking portion where we got to speak one-on-one with so many professionals and students who are interested in this field. George Washington provided us with a beautiful venue for the Networking Reception that had an entire view of the city and great food, of course. I really enjoyed having the chance to meet with students from Chicago, Pennsylvania, and the DMV area. It was also refreshing to meet someone from my SEC rival school, South Carolina (Go Dawgs). SINC gave me an opportunity to meet some incredible people who were willing to help me!
I absolutely loved the District of Columbia, and I hope to be back very, very soon. To the people I’ve met, thank you. To my godparents, my actual parents, my Aunt Kalena and my Georgetown host, Kim, thank you so much for making this happen for me. Truly grateful, and you know I have pictures to share!
This weekend became the start of an amazing journey into my future, and I am very excited to see where God takes me. Glory to him, always.
SIDE NOTE: My trip was also highly unconventional as a huge snowstorm graced the streets of D.C. that left me figuring out how to get back to Atlanta (flights backed up the entire day). A HUGE thank you to my aunt for getting me to Richmond, VA to fly out safely to Atlanta. LOVE YOU!
Dear Uncle Stuart,
Today is my birthday, and I never thought I would be writing this letter to you, but I wanted to express my unconditional love for you in my blog (which I am still figuring out). I miss you dearly and hope you can read this from heaven.
So, here it is. The time I have been dreading for a while now. Uncle Stuart, you’re gone, and while my words will be short, I hope my words can bring another side to you that most never got the chance to know.
While many knew you as Stuart Scott, Stu, Mr. Booyah, my sister and I grew up and loved you as Uncle Stuart. I was born in 1993, the same year you started your career at ESPN 2. You held me at 9 hours old after my birth, and I have felt your love ever since then. You, Aunt Kim, my dad, and my mom were the best couple duo and the best of friends back in the day (I have pictures to prove, and boy, they were great). You became my sister’s godfather shortly after she was born, and my family was so blessed to welcome you in our family. You officially became our Uncle Stuart.
I had so much fun as a kid with Sydni and Taelor. My favorite memory of you was being able to get the VIP experience at Disney World. We would eat at restaurants, and so many people would come up to you and ask for a picture. Honestly, I had no idea why… I knew you were a big deal to me, but not to the rest of world. As a child, I had no idea the impact you made in the sports broadcasting industry and how your famous catchphrases forever changed the journalism landscape. I just knew you as my cool Uncle Stuart, and we always looked forward to hanging out with Sydni and Taelor in Connecticut. During the holidays, I remember we came to visit. The snow was so thick outside, and we got to sled in your backyard. I cannot say that would have ever happened in Florida, but it was a fond memory, and one I will hold deep in my heart. The world got to see you on television, but we got to experience you and your coolness on a personal level. I will forever be grateful for that time.
When the devastating news came, you announced you had cancer and were undergoing treatments. At the time, my parents did not tell me much because I did not understand what that meant to you and your life. But, we all knew your tenacious attitude and knew you would beat it. Uncle Stuart, you’re right, you beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived, and the manner in which you lived. It did not beat you. I would text you from time to time and tell you to continue fighting and stay strong. You would tell me you loved me each time. I knew you meant it, and I prayed really hard for your full recovery, but God had other plans. Throughout your painful journey to fighting cancer, you have helped me tremendously during my college years. You’ve helped me with internships, career advice, and your overall journalism knowledge. You have done nothing but supported me along the way. You would shout me out on Twitter and you always told me you loved me and to keep pushing forward. I hope to make you very proud, and when I’m struggling or feeling down, I will think of you. You’ve faced more challenges then most, but you never stopped fighting not once.
With that Uncle Stuart I say thank you, and I love you. I wanted to share this with others; so hopefully, they understand the amount of love we have for you. Your legacy will continue, and I hope to be a part of it. I think many of us can agree that your success on ESPN came from you always staying true to yourself. I never realized how important that advice is until now. As I enter into my last semester of college, I will remain true to who I am, so I can only hope to inspire others as you inspired the world.
Taelor and Sydni, I know you are hurting right now, and I pray God brings you healing and peace. Stay strong girls, and I hope to see you and Aunt Kim very soon.
I am sad Uncle Stuart. Cancer takes the best people out of this world, and I will never understand why, but what I do know is that your ESPY’s speech truly taught me to live my life to the fullest. Uncle Stuart, you are my warrior angel now, and I know you will watch over us from heaven. Many people loved you on SportsCenter, but we loved you as our Uncle. #LOVEANDBOOYAH
Shelby Lena (SLC), your niece
While I still feel a strong sense of sadness from the loss, I am able to smile by these throwbacks of you. My mom found some old pictures, so I know you will love seeing these. Rest Easy Uncle Stu. LIVESTRONG in heaven as you did on this earth.
Your tweets meant more to me more than you know:
Much love Uncle Stu. Much love…
Sunny skies, ringing bells, and a crowded campus, school is definitely back in full effect. If you do not know, my name is Shelby Clayton and I am a senior studying Advertising and Sociology at THE University of Georgia (Go Dawgs always). I have been told multiple times to write and maintain a blog site, and after this summer, I knew it was the perfect time to start one up. As you see below, I wrote two blog posts from February. Let me tell you about those. They are really relevant as they discuss Gen Y’s addiction to technology, but to be honest, those posts were for a class (Digital Reputation Management to be exact)– I recommend you take it with Dr. Karen Russell if you’re interested. I am extremely new to the blogger-sphere, but I promise I’m a fast learner. Anyways, I figured I’d keep this account and begin a blog discussing my views on a variety of topics as a millennial.
As some of you reading may know, I appeared on CNN three times as their NEXTGEN Panelist along with 2-3 other college students. Many have asked how I was able to receive this opportunity, and it all began from a Facebook post last summer, and it became history ever since then. The first two segments began with discussing race relations with Don Lemon surrounding the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case and the Michael Dunn trial. The most recent CNN appearance surrounded a more political topic, the Hamas and Israel conflict. Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow were co-anchors during that segment, and I really enjoyed the discussion along with the viewpoints from Colin, Chadwick, and Esther (my co-panelists). I am eternally grateful for CNN and the Don Lemon team for trusting me to go on national television to discuss my opinion. This experience challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and TRUST ME, I could not have done this alone. I want to thank my mother, sister, and father for coaching me through this process and developing my growth on-air. Well, I really hope you enjoy my segments below, and I am open to comments, questions, etc. I really want to make my blog more of a discussion amongst millennial students to gauge views and opinions. Never know what might happen!
Stay tuned for more!
-shelbylena (in case you were wondering Lena is my middle name)
**NOTE: the video regarding the Michael Dunn trial was a two part segment, and I included only the first part.
2/16/2014 Gen Y on Michael Dunn Verdict
7/21/2014 Gen Y on Race Relations
Now that I’ve inherently called out my entire generation about their problems with smartphone consumption, I think we can move on to how we can actually start enjoying our lives. However, note that this addiction is serious enough to where people are dying from others phone use and driving. It’s a serious matter, but with every problem, there is a remedy. I’m a natural problem solver so I think it’s only necessary that I write a follow-up blog about treatment to this addiction. The one word that sums up the solution is MANAGEMENT. As very busy individuals, we often have to manage our time consciously, so let’s apply that to our smartphone use. Here are a few ways to manage your phone use according to WebMD (see, I told you it was a serious issue):
1. “Be Conscious”- which means start noticing when you start feeling a certain way that inhibits you to get on your smartphone
2.”Be Strong”- you do not necessarily need to reply back to EVERYTHING (this is actually my problem). I feel like I have to respond to every call/message in order to feel complete, but no, sometimes just let the phone just ring.
3. “Be Disciplined”- one of my resolutions for this year is to stay disciplined in technology, so this applies to me as well. When you learn to not use your phone in certain settings, you will start to enjoy your surroundings a lot more. Trust me, it’s already working for me.
Supposedly, following these few steps will help you concentrate and focus better and decrease anxiety, but that always varies from person to person. Just know you will feel a whole lot better when you stop letting your phone dictate your life.
Here is a couple books to check out as well:
Sleeping with your Smartphone by Perlow
Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads by David Greenfield, PhD
WE CAN DO IT!
First step to getting over any addiction is admitting to the problem and understanding that your life has become unmanageable. Sorry to say Generation Y, but we have a problem that requires some help. Maybe the 12 step program is not all that necessary, but an intervention is a MUST. What is this new found addiction I bring up? One word: SMARTPHONES. Team iPhone or Team Droid, what ever your preference is, you are apart of this epidemic. I hate to call out my own, but Gen Y, we have a a major issue with staying glued to our phones all hours of the day. It is actually pretty sad. Gone out to dinner with friends lately? Notice that you and every single one of friends is on their phone during some part of your night together? That is the problem; we no long appreciate human interaction with one another. Whether it’s checking Instagram, text messages, or browsing your apps, your phone has become your life. We spend every waking moment checking, updating, or just plain looking at our phone like it is a work of jaw dropping art.
Earlier this year, I saw a video that completely transformed the way I look at my iPhone. Take a look for yourself; it might change your mind too. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OINa46HeWg8. Let me know what you think. I found this video to be quite eye opening because it illustrated the addiction that is becoming prevelant in ages younger and younger each year. Sometimes, someone must point out your own flaws before you start to notice them yourself. Lets get this straight, I am not anti-smartphone, but I do believe many of us can not balance our social life online and in realtiy. We are always looking for the next big story on social media, and sometimes scrolling through our timeline on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can add up to numerous hours spent on our phones. If that video did not help realize our addiction, hopefully this inforgraphic can shed some light on the dark reality of smartphone addiction.