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I Found a Way to Give Back

Pat teachingOn April 20 and May 18, 2016, I will be sharing my 30-year career journey as a news journalist, corporate/business copywriter and publicist with high school students at two, underserved Los Angeles high schools: Oscar de la Hoya High School in South L.A. and Animo Inglewood High School. In doing so, I hope to impart to these idealistic young students that the next ten years (at least) of their lives are going to involve hard work and sacrifice. And while they will question the need for giving up their free time and putting in this level of effort, it will all pay off in the future because it will provide them with the dedication, determination and discipline they need to be successful at whatever they choose to do.

My two presentations are in partnership with the Youth Business Alliance (YBA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing critical 21st century business skills and perspectives into the classroom. In an effort to provide high school students with a broader perspective of what it takes to be successful, The Youth Business Alliance invites business leaders to share their experience and achievements. The YBA was formed in 2012 with one disadvantaged school and has since grown to include 14 high schools serving roughly 350 disadvantaged students each year through its year-long after school course “Introduction to Business & Careers.” When I started my career as a news broadcaster and radio news reporter right out of college, I had stars in my eyes: That first month, I got to meet and interview Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia who were in Newport, R.I. for the America’s Cup Races. I also got to interview American icon Ginger Rogers who was humble, gracious and patient with me.

But that first year was also a time of sacrifice. I had the midnight to six a.m. shift at radio station WOTB and in addition to having to be there six nights a week (Monday – Saturday), I also had to cover City Council/Town Council meetings in three towns before I went to work. Then just 21 years old, I often felt lost, lonely, and displaced from everyone I knew and had a hard time making connections in that affluent seaside resort community, so I threw myself into my work and that became the focus of my life.

That same discipline followed me to the next radio station and the next. For most of the next ten years, I worked every shift around the clock: afternoon drive time (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.), morning drive time (5:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.), both morning and afternoon drive times (split-shifts), weekends, afternoons, evenings, and finally, as the News Director for a small radio station in Massachusetts.

Eventually I decided to get out of radio altogether. I moved to the West Coast in 1988 with the dream of writing for a number of entertainment publications. I managed to do that but found out that they didn’t pay enough to make a living, so I also began working as a writer for a number of public relations firm. In 1990, I started my own business as Writer For Hire® and also freelanced for the Los Angeles Business Journal, Variety, Boxoffice, Entertainment Weekly, Insurance Journal and a number of corporate outfits.

What I have found is that it is never easy to build your dreams – it always involves sacrifices and hard work, but overall, it pays off by giving us the opportunity to do the kind of work that we love. Today, I have clients who I value, who hire me because they need my expertise, they respect my work ethic and they pay me for my time.

Looking back, I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I did at the start of my career, but I believe all the challenges I have had gave me a wealth of experience in life and a tenacity to succeed, when other writers have had to close up shop or take other jobs. Now, I have the opportunity to help today’s youth get started on their own career path and it’s my time to give back.

Writer Pat Kramer specializes in developing informational, editorial, promotional and ghostwritten content for law firms, real estate and insurance companies, the travel and hospitality industry, and a wide variety of business professionals and potential authors. Her press releases have helped first-time authors reach “best seller” status on Amazon.com, and her media outreach campaigns have elevated formerly unknown business professionals to “thought leaders” in their industries. Known as Writer For Hire® since 1990, Pat has written more than 1,000 articles for local, national and well respected industry publications.

As a speaker, Pat Kramer has led workshops and seminars for business associations and organizations for the past 20 years, helping them to improve their branding messages by using news-oriented press releases, professionally-written articles, and informational blogs on social media. Pat is a recognized business leader and an active member of her business and civic community in Sunland-Tujunga. She is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals and the ghostwriter of several books and memoirs.

For more information on Writer For Hire®, please visit: www.writerpatkramer.com.

To learn more about Youth Business Alliance, go to: www.youthbizalliance.com.

 

Inspiring the Generation of Tomorrow

Pat teachingOn December 14, 2015, I was invited to speak to a class of high schoolers at the Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Tech High School in Los Angeles on what it took for me to build my career as a writer. The students numbered about 20 and each had questions about my work, my clients, my pay scale and the different jobs I had to take before I “made it” as a professional business writer and ghostwriter. It was interesting to listen to their questions and to watch their reactions as I talked about “paying my dues” over the course of my 30+ year career.

The presentation I gave was set up by a non profit called the Youth Business Alliance, which organizes guest speakers for high schools in low income areas of Los Angeles. The students are all high achievers who are interested in pursuing careers with or without a college degree. From meeting them, I was able to see that these kids were intelligent and motivated but may be financially challenged.

I shared with them my journey from my first job as a 3rd shift radio news announcer/news writer at a small radio station in Newport, Rhode Island to writing for top business publications like  Variety and the Los Angeles Business Journal, and being hired by a travel company to take an all expense paid trip to Italy for 12 days in 2007.

What I hope I imparted to these students is that hard work really does pay off and to go for their dreams, even if others challenge them or try to talk them out of succeeding.

To volunteer to be a speaker for high school students in L.A., please go to: www.youthbizalliance.com. I think you’ll find it a great way to give back.