Past and present will come together to create long-lasting memories and career opportunities for one Ithaca College student set to intern at the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Adrienne Smith is a sophomore television-radio major in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. While her role in NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics Internship Program will build her resume as she works toward a career in broadcasting, there is a deeper, personal tie to the opportunity.
Adrienne Smith holds a Jockey Being Family stuffed bear, part of the proceeds of which are donated to post-adoption services. (Photo by Gio Santacroce)
Smith’s parents adopted her from Seoul, South Korea when she was an infant. This year’s Olympic Games take place in Pyeongchang, less than 80 miles from where she was born. And though her internship won’t take her to South Korea — she will instead be selecting and editing shots to be shown on air from the NBC Sports broadcast and production facility in Stamford, Connecticut — she is nonetheless excited to be taking part in the festivities.
“Covering a historical event taking place in my homeland means so much to me,” Smith said. “I love how I can bring my two worlds together with this internship.”
In fact, it was the Park School’s close relationship with NBC that brought her to South Hill. “I was told that Ithaca College students are often hired as interns,” she said. “The ability to take part in those types of opportunities was a huge factor in choosing to come to Ithaca.
“Students have so many opportunities here, and I’m so glad I get to experience that.”
During her first year at IC, Smith was accepted into the Leadership Scholar program, which requires her to take on progressively advanced leadership roles each year. This year she serves as president of the first college chapter of the Jockey Being Family foundation, which spreads awareness about adoption to the public. Smith’s interest in the foundation was sparked by her own experience with adoption, as well as her desire to advocate for the rights of adoptive children and families.
She first reached out to Jockey Being Family when she came across one of their promotional ads, which featured an Asian girl with Caucasian parents. “It was great to see such a successful company carrying out the message that adoption should be celebrated,” Smith said.
Through her work with Jockey Being Family, Smith hopes to abolish the stigma surrounding adoption. “Adoption shouldn’t be treated as second-best,” she said. “It’s just another way to form a family.”