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by Maddie Schaafsma

As I stood outside City Hall, the busy rush of people walked by and many stopped to watch. I firmly gripped the microphone and the cameraman pointed to me to signal that we were rolling. John Garcia shot me a good luck wink. With all eyes on me, I knew this was the place I was meant to be.

Because of Renew, and Superintendent Matt Davidson who helped to set it up, I was able to intern at ABC 7 News with meteorologist and Timothy mom, Tracy Butler.

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As my alarm clock went off every morning at 1:30 am, the normal feeling of dread was replaced with excitement and eagerness. I was welcomed into ABC 7 by Tracy Butler, Terrell Brown, and so many others. Everyday was a new adventure for me. I did everything from sitting at the assignment desk, answering the tip lines, to watching the live broadcast with a producer’s headset on. I watched Tracy move around on the green screen and listened to the buzz of directors in my ear giving instructions every second.

By the end of my internship, I knew the ABC building like the back of my hand. Many hours were spent in the weather room, studying research. Hosea Sanders told me stories from his college days, about his first career live shot (which took place at the White House), and gave me advice for my future as a journalist. One of my favorite parts was spending time in the editing room learning the tedious task of editing my own tapes. I now even have my own ABC tape to put in my journalism portfolio.

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One day I spent hours at the Chicago Blood Drive that took place at the Drake Hotel in Oak Brook. The day of the blood drive, I had the opportunity to hear the donors’ stories. I was able to learn so many important skills — just from taking in my surroundings.

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Although I loved so many things at ABC 7, my highlight was being on the radio at ESPN. Every Friday, Tracy Butler gives the weather report on the sports station. I wasn’t expecting to be on the radio that day, but Carmen and Jurko called me in to talk. My heart was beating out of my chest, but being inside the recording studio I once again felt called to journalism.

After learning about the long hours and dedication this job takes, my passion for this field of work was only confirmed. I hope to be a reporter/anchor for ABC in the future and I could not be more grateful for this opportunity Timothy has supplied me with.

To read more about the Renew program at Timothy visit our website. To learn more about internships during Renew contact Mrs. Kendra Lee at lee@timothychristian.com. 

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