Freelancing Opportunity

Photo: Jim Sands

By: Kobe Lambeth

My senior year of high school was definitely a year to remember. I finally made it after so many years of school from kindergarten in Mrs. Dishmon’s class at Wentworth Elementary as a shy little boy to a grown 18 year old man ready to see what life has to offer after walking across the stage at Reidsville High School.

There were so many memories made throughout my high school years. From the highs to the lows, I am truly grateful for everything that has happened to me these past four years. I have grown as a person and will continue to do so as the next chapter in life will be the greatest challenge of all.

When I think of the memories made in high school, Fall 2016 stands out more than a food stain on a white t-shirt. All seniors were required to complete a senior graduation project on a topic that can be applied in real-world situations. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside RockinghamNow Community Reporter, Joe Dexter, who helped mentor me through my project on NASCAR Marketing.

After spending a semester at RockinghamNow working on my senior project, I knew journalism was the right career for me to pursue. I will begin my life at UNC Charlotte in January 2018, which left Fall 2017 wide open for me to find something to do in the meantime. Sometimes, we leave lasting impressions on those who notice our true capabilities.

During the time of my senior project, I left some people at the office very impressed with my passion for motorsports and the willingness to learn the ropes of being a professional journalist. I am very excited to announce that I will be working as a freelancer for RockinghamNow in Fall 2017, primarily focusing on local high school sports.

“It’s great to have Kobe back in the fold here at RockinghamNow,” said Community Reporter, Joe Dexter.

“When he came in for his senior project last year, it was clear that he was hungry to start his journalism career. His determination and willingness to get it right will take him far and help him grow as he starts his career as a freelancer.

Working alongside Joe Dexter, who has been such an inspiration as my mentor throughout the entire process, will continue to provide more valuable information before I make the journey down I-85 to UNC Charlotte.

Some people may believe that freelancing is not the ideal career choice, but it is definitely a great place to start especially for a student straight out of high school, according to Dexter.

“Not only is it a foot in the door, but anybody that is willing to freelance is showcasing their willingness to step up to the plate when needed and get the tough assignments done,” said Dexter.

“That is a huge part of growing as a young journalist and building a name for themselves. Another major part in growth is getting repetition and freelance opportunities allow up and coming journalists to do so in a professional environment.

I will also have the opportunity to work alongside RockinghamNow Sports Editor, Jim Sands, who has been a vital part of my transition to becoming a freelancer. He will teach me the right ways to cover an event in a sports-minded environment, which will require taking high-quality photos, recording statistics. writing recaps of games, and much more.

According to Sands, being versatile in such a competitive industry is essential to having a career that will last for many years.

“Journalism is constantly changing, and if you want to survive and be successful, you have to adapt to the way people chose to consume their news,” said Sands.

“If you don’t learn how to master the new technology and continue to grow, then you could very well find yourself on the unemployment line.

During these next few months, I am anxious to learn from two established professionals such as Dexter and Sands as they will pass on their knowledge to a new generation. It will be crucial for me to absorb as much information as I possibly can and take full advantage of the unique opportunity that I have been given.

Sands considers it a privilege to teach a student fresh out of high school the most important roles in the daily life of a journalist, before the adventure in the heart of NASCAR community begins in just a few months.

“To work with a young man that is willing to put in the time and effort to learn what it is like to compete in such a challenging field, in my eyes, is a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” said Sands.

“Kobe cares about what he is doing and holds himself to a very high standard. That is part of what sets him apart from most people.

 

Meet: Ryan Repko

Photo: Mary Repko

By: Kobe Lambeth

This is the first edition of the “Meet” series where I will introduce you to the brightest young stars of motorsports under age 18. First, you will meet rising stock car driver, Ryan Repko, who has his sights set on making it the top level of NASCAR in the future.

“I currently race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and part time in the CARS Tour,”  said Repko.

“I began racing at the age of 8 at an indoor karting track in Mooresville. There I met several families who raced at a quarter midget track called NCQMA Speedway which is owned by Bobby Labonte. We bought a car and in our first year we won several races and a championship. My ultimate goal is to one day be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.”

Ryan Repko, a teenager, looking turn heads as he has hopes of driving in NASCAR’s top divisions in the upcoming years. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is a great place for young drivers to showcase their talent as “you never know who is watching,” according to Repko.

For example, we could see a NASCAR driver like Kyle Busch show up to an event and discover a talented driver like Repko the same way he found Erik Jones. It is good for all young drivers in the lower divisions of NASCAR to try their very best as you could be a lap away from a ride in the top three divisions of stock car racing.

Being a young stock car driver, do you think Repko has a favorite driver or role model?

“My favorite driver is Tony Stewart because he can get in any type of car and be competitive whether it is a sprint car or a cup car,” said Repko.

“My dad is a role model of mine because he pushes me to work toward my goals and to constantly learn and get better.”

It is great that young drivers have a role model in their life to help them strive to be the best they can possibly be on the track. With the inspiration of Tony Stewart and his dad behind him every step of the way, Ryan Repko has a great shot to make the move up the ladder. Away from the track, Repko seems like the typical teenager.

“Away from the track I like basketball, iRacing, and karting,” said Repko.

If you have not heard of Ryan Repko yet, then you definitely will in the years to come as the young teenager pursues his dreams of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.