I’m Eric Esteban and for the past seven years, I’ve served as Director of Media Relations at FOX Sports Florida, in addition to being a Board Member for South Florida After-School All-Stars for the past two years. Partnering with After-School All-Stars is one of the best things to ever happen to me, both personally and professionally. Nowhere has that been more evident than with the launch and subsequent success of our Junior Broadcasting Program.
The Junior Broadcast Program launched two years ago with the support of the Orlando Magic (NBA) and Miami Marlins (MLB) and has become a life-changing initiative for After-School All-Stars students in each market. The core mission of the Junior Broadcasting Program is to provide kids with an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about broadcasting and the variety of career paths within the industry. The program is highly engaging and as the kids are learning directly from the professionals who bring you the broadcast of the games, event shadowing them on game days—so it is as hands-on as you can get! This program is one of the many powerful ways in which After-School All-Stars helps kids find careers they love and be better prepared for a successful future.
Kids have had the chance to visit the Amway Center and Marlins Park, meet our broadcasters, visit the broadcast booth and production truck during games to see how a telecast comes to life and even had the chance to meet some of their favorite athletes. I’ve seen tears of happiness, smiles galore, laughs for the days and thoughtful questions, each leaving a lasting impact on myself and our participating employees. One moment that I will never forget is a student seeking me out at the end of the tour and saying, “This is it. This is what I want to do when I grow up.” He gave me a hug and we went our separate ways, but after a full day’s work and an evening showing kids around a stadium, I didn’t feel exhaustion or lament the long hours I had just put in on a random Tuesday in April. I felt like I had made a difference. I felt like I had done a small part in empowering someone’s future. I felt like it was the most fulfilling thing I had done in a long, long time. And it’s that same feeling that makes me extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the years via our Junior Broadcasting Program.