Naja Cannon, FTC Mass Comm Senior, takes a pause to reflect upon her accomplishments and path forward.

By Naja Cannon

Social distancing during the Coronavirus epidemic has forced me to take a good look at my life. I believe that sometimes people get so caught up in their lives, that they forget to notice how far they’ve come. I am now in my senior year of college, less than a month away from getting my degree. And it has just registered that I have brought my dreams to reality.

I was on-air at WFTU Radio, my college radio station, for about three years. I loved Hip-Hop so much that I wanted to give a platform to aspiring artists to showcase their music. I knew some of them couldn’t get on Hot 97 or Power 105.1 easily, so I wanted to be that on-air destination for them. I even named my show, “Hip-Hop Galore,” inspired by legendary artist, Jay-Z. He was on a documentary I was watching, and he just said the name. I thought, yes, that’s it.

When I sometimes got off the air of my weekly show, I would tell my friends and producer that I hoped to be the next Angie Martinez, Power 105.1 Radio Personality. And then, in January 2020, I landed an internship with the radio legend herself. What’s even crazier is that once I got the news that Power 105.1 wanted me on board, rival station, Hot 97 invited me in for an interview. You can just imagine the shock I felt at that moment. I had a choice of interning at two of the most respected Hip-Hop stations in the country. I chose Power 105.1 and have no regrets. Once I walked in the door of their New York City headquarters, I felt at home. Meeting Angie Martinez was like a dream. Friends and family would ask me what she was like, and I gave them a nonchalant answer of, “she’s cool” because I still couldn’t believe it myself.

And what inspired me to write this reflection was reading Angie Martinez’s book, “My Voice: A Memoir.” I read the book in one sitting. Martinez’s memoir is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. I could go into details of her story, but I’ll save that for a future written post. Thinking about Martinez in her own words helped it to register that I’m working for a LEGEND. I had that “Holy Sh*t” moment Angie talked about in the book. I’m so humbled for this opportunity and want to share some powerful wisdom that she wrote. “You never know what you can do until you really put yourself out there and try. Do it. Whatever it is. Challenge yourself. If you can’t imagine the finish line, the first step is to just show up.” I know this is a rough time for college students but when life eventually returns to normal, remember those words.

It sounds cliche, but you can do anything you put your mind to. I’m just a girl from South Side, Jamaica Queens, who had a radio show at a small college. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to work under a legend. This is only the beginning for me.