Writing for Wish Dish has been an authentic and moving experience. After writing my own Dish, I checked out some incredible stories. I was amazed at how my peers have sought out new adventures, overcame immense adversity, and are truly inspiring individuals. I look back at my own story and hope to have made a positive impact through a very tough time in my life.
When I published An Open Letter | To my Uncle Stuart Scott I was turning 22 and mourning a very public loss. Every television channel I turned to, I saw him. I just started my last semester of college, had a birthday, and attended a funeral all in one week. However, I wanted to turn my grief into celebration, so I shared a story about the Stuart Scott I knew. Looking through old pictures, reminiscing on the good times with Uncle Stuart was all of the coping I needed to realize my time with him was full of love and support.
He always believed in me and sent me encouraging tweets and texts even when he was battling a devastating disease. However, that never stopped his fight and that only motivated me to start living my life to the absolute fullest and most importantly, take risks.
I did exactly that, took a risk. After graduating college, I accepted an internship over some great full-time offers. The internship was at ESPN in New York City. It was a difficult decision because I was choosing the unknown. I did not have a guaranteed job after my internship, but I had the tenacity to work as hard as I could to potentially land something. I remember walking into ESPN on my first day of the internship and at first glance, I saw a portrait of my Uncle Stuart near the entrance. From that point on, I knew he had my back and would become my guardian angel.
I wanted to make him proud, and with hard work, dedication, and just being me, I was able to land a full-time position at ESPN after my internship. I am humbled and overjoyed, and I now see why my Uncle Stuart loved his job. The ESPN family took me in and gave me chance of a lifetime, and I could not be more grateful.
If I could leave you with one piece of advice, I would encourage my fellow peers and young adults to take a risk and be yourself. My Uncle Stuart got very far with his career doing just that, and I was able to start my career out of college at one of the biggest sports brands in the world. Put yourself out there, and don’t hold anything back.
With that being said, I miss and think about my Uncle Stuart daily. On a brighter note, I feel surrounded by his spirit and I can even imagine him telling me, “Go get ‘em, Shelby.” My Uncle Stu was nobody but himself, and I plan to remember that throughout my life as I begin my journey at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. “Boo-Yah.”