“I felt like Elon had the tools and resources to get me where I wanted to be”

Growing up, BreShawn Holley ’22 was always competing, playing basketball, football, and track and field. Those formative experiences made the first-generation college student realize that he wanted to stay involved in sports long term, and he has set his sights on becoming a sideline reporter or sports broadcaster once he graduates.

Holley transferred to Elon to start his sophomore year, enticed by the reputation and resources of the School of Communications and its journalism program. The journalism and sport management double major said he knew Elon was the best place for him to start his career.

To learn more about the news industry, Holley shadowed a broadcaster at WCCB Charlotte in fall 2019.

“I felt like Elon had the tools and resources to get me where I wanted to be,” he said.

Since arriving on campus, Holley has been active, working with Elon News Network and playing intramural basketball. The student-run news network has provided Holley opportunities to write for The Pendulum and anchor ENN’s “The Online Exclusive” right away. Holley’s news coverage includes post-game stories about men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and cross country, as well as in-depth features on teams and athletes.

“For me, a transfer student, being able to come right in, go to games, interview players, and write articles, that was just an experience in itself,” Holley said.

One of Holley’s favorite experiences from the past year was covering an Elon women’s basketball game at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I’m a big Tar Heels fan,” Holley said. “And that was my first time actually going to the Chapel Hill campus, so that was quite memorable.”

Like sports broadcasters and reporters across the country, the pandemic sidelined Holley last spring. With few games to cover, Holley said he didn’t have many reps to practice his craft. With sports getting back in action, Holley said he plans to work on new types of sports writing and interview more players on camera  – two of his goals from last year.

Outside the classroom, Holley said he has appreciated what he has learned from the Elon Black Alumni Network mentorship program. The program connects Black-identifying students with a member of the Black Alumni Network from the student’s hometown and with a similar occupation to the mentee’s field of study. These opportunities to interact with alumni have had a big impact, Holley explained.

“It’s been great because you get to connect with somebody who went to your school, who has the same interests you have, and is doing what you want to do,” he said.

A recipient of a School of Communications scholarship, Holley also expressed gratitude for the school’s willingness to assist him and family financially, especially during uncertain times following the pandemic’s arrival. Always a hard worker, he had two jobs this past summer, in addition to completing online classes and taking care of his younger family members.

“Without a scholarship from Elon, it would have been a financial strain and a lot of stress and worry,” he said.

Fast forward a year, the Charlotte native plans to pair the skills he’s learned in and out of the classroom with the knowledge he’s received from alumni and faculty to land an internship this summer.

“Elon is great because it has so many different programs, such as ENN, where you can get your feet wet … writing articles and going to games, those are experiences not every student at every school gets,” Holley said. “That’s one of the best things about Elon, you’re able to get that hands-on experience.”

– Written by Kyra O’Connor ’22

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