GovSight is a non-profit technology and news company which was formed in 2019. In our weekly GovSight Diaries series, we share the stories of our challenges and successes in hopes that others can learn from our accomplishments and struggles.

I am 24 years old. Two years ago, I was 100% certain that I was going to host a sports radio show and talk to strangers for hours about the odds of LeBron James winning a NBA championship in his forties. I was also unsure if I would get out of bed the next day.

Now I’m the executive producer for GovSight and I don’t think there’s a chance that I’ll ever step back into a radio station again. My entire outlook on life has changed. I took on a new career because it was a chance to learn something, and that’s my advice to all of you: Never stop learning.

GovSight was not my idea. Co-founder and Vice President Miguel Pineda came to me out of the blue in late 2019 and asked me if I was interested in returning to podcasting. We met at Virginia Tech and I suppose he liked what I said and how I said it. I appreciated the “citizenship simplified” motto and told him I was happy to help.

I didn’t think at that time that his interesting pitch would also help me dig my way out of the darkest period in my life.

Let’s take a step back. When I finished school in 2018, that sports radio career was a gleam in my eye. An idea I never thought I’d give up on. But I wasn’t sure what would make me happy outside of that potential career. I didn’t take enough time to learn about myself and the world around me, to get what I wanted out of this crazy thing we call life.

I laid in bed for hours and accomplished nothing, beat myself up for not doing anything, and then was so defeated that I repeated the process the next day. That lasted for what felt like years — even when I finally got a foot in the door with a radio career.

I had to get out of that rut, and for me, it came through learning.

I read more about all the systems that operate around us, who is out there making a difference, and who controls what and why. I learned about depression and those who learn to live with it and fight it everyday. I studied literature I didn’t have time for, took in pop culture I never ingested, and talked to people about what makes them tick.

I realized that what I really wanted out of life was to try and see, hear, touch, and understand as much of it as possible. GovSight became part of that ambition.

About two months ago, after I was already performing a couple of podcast hits and recording a few things here and there for GovSight, I was offered the chance to edit some of the different audio productions that we put out weekly. To that point, I did the minimum in editing sound through classes and odd jobs here and there, but I never tried to learn about editing a quality podcast. It didn’t deter me because for me, it just fed into my drive.

The lack of knowledge was a challenge that I had to overcome.

I looked anywhere I could find advice. Reddit, YouTube or a friend’s dad, it didn’t matter. I wanted to absorb information from wherever I could find it. I desired to know as much as I could so that GovSight’s audio products would be as good as can be. I’m still learning and getting better every week; now it’s just one example of how educating myself on something unknown changed who I am.

In a way, this diary is a bit of a thank you note as well. I can’t express how much I appreciate Miguel, Andrew, Joe, Gillian, and the rest of the (ever-expanding) GovSight crew for giving me this chance to do what I really want to do.

That said, I’m not a life coach. I don’t have some be-all and end-all way to start a company, try something new, or expand your horizons. I know that learning about random things, whether they become part of a career path or not, is at least one of the true joys in life. We all have the opportunity every day to find something that brings us happiness. It could be editing a podcast, fixing a car, training a dog, playing a sport — the list goes on. But if you don’t take the chance to learn in the first place, how can you know it wouldn’t change your life for the better?

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