Wildcat 91.9 provides undergraduate student a chance to make waves in the music business
“I am so scared of not being able to fulfill my passion, which is why I am so thankful I have put my life and career on the forefront of my career with my decision to come to college,” said Sara Wallace, a senior in journalism and mass communications.
Fulfilling her passion for journalism and the arts was one of the main reasons Sara decided to take the leap and come to Kansas State University in the first place. The leaps didn’t end there. Sara took another leap of faith when she decided to join the radio station on campus, Wildcat 91.9.
“I like journalism and radio is a different branch of journalism,” Sara said. “It makes me feel like I am talking to one person, making me feel more personable.”
Starting as a freshman and rising in the ranks at the station, Sara is now the music director for 91.9, one of her many dream jobs. “I am truly passionate about helping artists through radio. All the music that is played on air goes through me. What I love most are the local artists. I think it is so important we give these artists an outlet to be able to express themselves,” Sara said.
Her day-to-day tasks as music director for Wildcat 91.9 can vary but the objective remains the same. “My core focus here is music. I love music, and I specifically love the genre of music that we play, which is a lot of local artists,” said Sara. “What makes Wildcat 91.9 so special is that Manhattan is in the middle of the prairie and the only one of its kind. We are truly the gatekeepers of an entire world of new and up-and-coming music for our diverse community.”
Her time spent at the radio station has helped her fulfill passions and goals that she set for herself before she graduates. “I have about fifty things I hope to be before I die. My job right now as the music director was on that list for sure,” Sara said. “Now that I’ve done it, it’s opened me up to so many more opportunities and goals that I didn’t have before starting college.”
Most people would think that radio is a far stretch for journalism majors, but Sara thinks otherwise. “I think radio helps journalism, specifically broadcast journalism because you are not a face to the person consuming the news, you are solely the outlet of news to them,” said Sara. “It is a personal way to connect with people and make sure they know what they need to know without distraction.”
And for those who say that radio is dead, Sara and the rest of the team at Wildcat 91.9 have a different perspective. “Like any media, radio is evolving with the times. We all listen to talk and podcasts all the time, it’s all in your pocket. All of that is radio in a new form,” Sara said.
With Sara working at the radio station and taking classes, it can be difficult to balance life and school, but scholarships help her to grow her strengths, instead of worry about money. “Scholarships help take off that financial burden and stress so I can put my efforts elsewhere, somewhere beneficial. It resonates so deep and is very important to my success in school,” said Sara.
“Without scholarships, plain and simple I would not be here. It relieves me so much to have these experiences and find my passions and realize my power in what I am doing. Having these scholarships makes a huge difference for me,” Sara said.
If Sara had to opportunity to speak with all of the donors who have supported her, she would say this: “The support goes beyond just the money. I am in such a male-dominated field and I am taking over. Just hearing these voices of support from donors saying ‘you got this’ means more than just my family saying it because it is coming from someone who doesn’t know me but still wants to bring me up, help me out and make sure I succeed. That power and impact means the whole world.”
You can help keep the voices of K-State alive by supporting the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences, giving.ksufoundation.org/campaigns/17106/donations/new.