Wellness Journalism Program Alum Abisola Adeyemo Talks Becoming a Published Author at 21 and Her Budding Media Career
Each year, our wellness journalism program works with a select group of multicultural young women nationwide to help prepare them for careers in the media industry. Among our 2017 class of reporters was Abisola Adeyemo, a now senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Central Florida. For Adeyemo, her love for journalism began at an early age. "My grandma and I would watch the Oprah Winfrey Show after school," Adeyemo tells us. "Seeing a black woman with such a large platform in media inspired me as a child. I told myself that I could make an impact in media someday."
As a young journalist, Adeyemo's passion for media deepened and she continuously delivered engaging pieces including exclusive interviews with beauty entrepreneur Kristen Noel Crawley and singer Coco Jones. After completing the program two years ago, the college student has continued to make moves as a rising industry talent.
“I interned for Orlando's #1 TV news station and became an on-air radio intern for Orlando's NPR station. I have also worked hard covering breaking news, major stories, anchoring, reporting, and producing for my school’s broadcast TV station," Adeyemo says.
When catching up with her, she noted that being in the wellness journalism program helped her take on future endeavors with confidence stating: "Being in the program gave me the work ethic and drive to find and pitch weekly stories. It also helped me to hone my lifestyle writing skills and stand out among my peers. I became a better journalist knowing that I had to stick to deadlines, be professional, and be a positive ambassador for PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT."
In addition to gaining on-air experience, Adeyemo recently added the title of author to her resume. When asked about how she feels about her major accomplishment at just 21 years old, she tells us, “You know it still hasn’t hit me that I can fully say that I’m an author."
Her new action novel, Melanin's Motive, released on February 22, 2019, follows 18-year old Kemi Okiki — an aspiring filmmaker who lives in the flourishing African country Oloro. Furthermore, the plot reveals that Okiki is making a documentary to shed light on the different ethnic groups in a wealthy, Afrocentric country. Simultaneously, Okiki also faces internal battles as she tries to keep a big secret from her family. Along the way, she meets six strangers who change the way she views life and culture forever. But when a strange phenomenon occurs, Kemi and the people of Oloro lose a major aspect of their identity.
Adeyemo offered insight into the writing process describing it as "tedious." She says, "The first draft of the book took about one year and 10 months. Granted, I wasn't writing consistently. Then, when I finally got a publisher (after months and hundreds of rejections), I began writing my second draft. This took me about two months of active writing. I made writing my full-time job. There were days when I would write for almost 12 hours straight. But, I had deadlines and knew that the story depended on my work ethic."
Right now, there aren't any subsequent novels in the works, as Adeyemo is taking time to relish in the labor she put into Melanin's Motive. "I would love to write more books in the future. But for now, I am enjoying the ride of this first book. I want to make sure that I don't overwhelm myself with too many projects so that I can get back into a good creative space," Adeyemo notes.
However, the graduating senior is currently focused on making her broadcast dreams a reality. "My post-grad plans are to become a TV reporter/anchor. However, my ambitions and career goals don't end there. I would love to get into hosting, TV writing and producing and so much more. I know that that may sound overzealous, but I believe that with faith, hard work and determination, anything is possible,” Adeyemo tells PGS.
Interested in becoming a wellness journalist? Applications open annually on March 1 and close May 20. Click here for more details.