News car encounters 

  
One of the things I’m going to miss most about working in TV news is meeting such amazing people everyday. I always joke that when you drive around in this WMC Action News 5 billboard you get a lot of unsolicited visitors. They stop by and want to tell you a story, suggest a story idea and sometimes just talk. 

Today reminded why I love it: I had just eaten lunch at Caritas Village in Binghampton when I walked out to my logo’d car. A woman flagged me down and asked me if she could talk. She wanted to know if I ever did a story about a woman in her 50’s trying to get a job and struggling because she didn’t have computer skills. She told me she wants nothing but to work. She’s not ready to sit at home and not contribute to society or make a living. She started crying. She said she has years of retail experience but when she lost her bottom teeth she found it harder to get a job. 
As she wiped tears from her eyes I reminded her that she is worth more than she’ll ever know. That she has something to offer to this world. And that she is the only person who can control how she reacts to this struggle. 
Then she apologized for crying to me and said it was just hard to feel this way. I told her there was no need to apologize. Her struggles are real. And they remind me how important it is to recognize life’s little blessings; jobs, food on the table, transportation and family. 
I’m going to miss moments like these…Moments that never make the news…Stories that go untold. 
The opportunity to encounter people like her everyday just because I’m driving around a car with a news logo. 
But then I realized I can still have these encounters, perhaps in a less public way. We all can. 
My next challenge will be to seek these moments on my own, without the help of a TV station car. Truth is, these moments can happen everyday if we just take the time to notice people around us. 
#Onward #Upward 

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A Leap of Faith: Leaving TV News

“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you.” Matthew 7:7

I’ve always been taught not to bury the lead so I’m just going to cut to the chase: I am leaving TV news to run my own business.  You read that right, I’m officially becoming a full time small business owner, entrepreneur and freelance journalist all in one move. Read on to learn more about how this decision came to be and why I feel it’s so incredibly meant to be. 

Three years ago I got an offer that I simply could not resist: to move to Memphis for my dream job as a Reporter at WMC Action News 5. It had been a dream of mine since I interned there in 2007.  I said I wanted to come back and work in this market, at this station, with these people in five years. Well I got here in 4 and a half years.  And I didn’t think beyond that.

Over the course of three years though, God has slowly revealed new purpose in my life in ways I could have never imagined.  It’s why, as of March 1st, I will be leaving television news (after working since I was 17 years old) for a new dream: owning my own company, Forever Ready Productions, LLC.

If you’ve followed my work, you know I have a major passion for telling positive stories and working with non-profits. The good news is that is exactly what I will be doing in this new adventure.  Already, in the course of two years, since we created the LLC, we’ve built relationships with so many non-profits and small businesses.  I now get to focus on telling their stories.

Our first official client was Volunteer Odyssey.  And shortly after that people started contacting us.  Since then we’ve produced numerous videos for Catholic Charities (including the John Angotti Christmas Concert that aired on WMC Action News 5), Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, Volio and so many more. You can view all of that work on our website: www.foreverreadyllc.com.

But back to my TV career in Memphis for a moment: over three years I’ve been given some BIG assignments. The Tigers in the NCAA tournament, Grizzlies playoffs, a White House concert, Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes and Ferguson, Missouri riots. But what I’ve really enjoyed most is the stories that called people to action and created change (helping clear Lawrence McKinney’s record, the Kids & Guns story, the impact of WMC’s food and toy drives, empowering people to take back their community). It’s what helped lead me to this new adventure.

Over time, I believe that God began to open my heart to something more. It was actually something Justin Hanson, former reporter, now Covington Mayor, said to me on his last day at WMC Action News 5.

While I was an intern, Justin told me being a reporter at Action News 5 was his dream too. When I asked him how he was able to walk away from his dream job for a new one he said “Lauren, it’s because I have a servants heart and you do too. Sometimes God calls us to something more.  I believe he has something big planned for you.”

He was right.  At the core of it, I truly do have a servant’s heart. It’s why I got into the business in the first place. But now, that heart is calling me to something else.

The decision hasn’t come easy. It’s hard to think about walking away from your dream job for something new.  But I truly believe that now is the time. I don’t want to look back and say “what if.”

I believe strongly that Scott and I were brought to Memphis for a reason. And it’s exciting to see it unfold.

And with that I will say: ONWARD. UPWARD.

And if you have any video needs…I know someone who could help you out!!

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