LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — As Lexington Community Radio steps on the gas with each project, University of Kentucky students view this as an avenue for experience as they assist board members, donors and supporters to reach their destination on Oct. 1, 2015, of the first on-air broadcast.
Since 2011, Lexington Community Radio has worked to provide Lexington with public safety information, local news, entertainment and educational programming through an FM radio broadcast. Lexington Community Radio, which has already received one permit from the Federal Communications Commission to construct a low-power FM radio station in Lexington, recently received approval for construction of a second station with the help of UK students. Each student has volunteered numerous hours with board directors, and the community has seen this as a foot-in-the-door experience that could take them where they foresee themselves post-graduation.
Recent UK alumus Wilder Treadway served as a volunteer at Lexington Community Radio. Treadway was recommended by one of his journalism professors, Kakie Urch, who made the magic happen for Treadway. All he needed to do was contact his potential new manager.
“My former journalism professor, Kakie Urch, put me in contact with the supervisor, who I actually went to high school with. It all related back to a service-learning semester-long project I did for my class,” said Treadway.
Treadway was granted a volunteer position to help start a new radio station. His duties routinely focused on working with the public to inform them of Lexington Community Radio through forums and meetings around Lexington to discuss what the public was looking for in a radio station.
“Since it’s a newly developing project, just getting the word out to the city of Lexington was something we knew would be very important, especially into the Hispanic community," Treadway said. "My main project was to help set up a community forum at Village Branch Library during which my supervisor, co-worker and I distributed LCR related materials and held a brainstorming session with the public about what they were looking for in a radio station. It was a big success.”
The Lexington Community Radio project gave Treadway the skills it takes to publicize the station and the confidence he needs to succeed in any career endeavors he has moving forward. “Working with the public and working with a different demographic than I’m used to working with helped make me more well-rounded and comfortable. It was nice to begin something that was recently developed and help be in charge of the publicity for it as you can truly see the fruits of your labor,” he said.
Treadway was adamant about finding diverse opportunities to help him with his career path such as internships, volunteer hours and networking. From his experiences at UK, his advice to students that are looking for a window of opportunity is to network with professors and advisors.
“There’s always something out there to learn, so make sure to network with as many people as you can and keep your ears open. I would talk to professors or advisors in the College of Communication and also utilize social media. A lot of times professors will point out job and internship opportunities such as postings on Twitter or LinkedIn before you see them elsewhere too,” said Treadway.
By working at the Lexington Community Radio station, Treadway had the opportunity to be a part of a developing project in the city of Lexington that is going to directly help the community in the coming years. He explains that no student should be nervous but prevail upon an organization's hiring official or executive board why they should hire you as an employee, intern or a volunteer.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for informational interviews with people to see what a job is about and if there is a potential opportunity to intern at the place you are interested in. You would receive a great deal of experience by interacting first-hand with the people and seeing the work you do get put to real use,” said Treadway.
The work Treadway completed at LCR was difficult, and he appreciated that it was taken seriously throughout the organization. While at the station, he also learned many skills that he can see himself applying post-graduation.
“Preparing a community forum in the city of Lexington in an area of town that lacks a lot of community involvement was a daunting task, but we at LCR were very pleased with the turn out and it gave me confidence with event planning and time management for the future,” said Treadway.
Since the gas pedal has accelerated on the Lexington Community Radio project, Treadway along with other volunteers have helped amplify the station to gain the best listeners and donors it can receive. “Lexington Community Radio is now a partnership with the entire community,” said general manager, Hap Houlihan. “The more people involved as listeners, donors, or station volunteers, the better off we’ll all be.”
Several UK students are currently volunteers at Lexington Community Radio, but Houlihan says there is room for growth. For more information or to volunteer with Lexington Community Radio, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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