When Celia Farmer was eight years old, her father took her to a Carolina Panthers game. Little did she know, that game would change her life forever.
Celia said it was just a typical Sunday. Her family was tailgating and waiting on game time when an older man pulled up and got out of his car. This man was Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panthers. He had taken time out of his hectic game day to meet fans. Needless to say, this had a lasting impact on Celia. She had witnessed an instance of human kindness and consideration from a prominent individual in the NFL, an individual that did not need to meet fans, but simply wanted to.
From that day forward, Celia became a die-hard Panthers fan. Her positive experience as a Panthers fan has motivated her to work towards a future in an NFL organization; she is pursuing a major in sports administration and a minor in media and journalism.
Celia's dream of a career surrounding football is not often admired. Football is a controversial sport, often seen as barbaric, and Celia knows this. Celia has written papers about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE: a degenerative brain disease often seen in contact sports like American football. She has learned that football is dangerous, no doubt about it, but she has also learned that the NFL has recently become very pre-cautious about the possibility of life-altering injuries from the sport. This precaution is one of the many reasons why Celia continues to love the NFL. But Celia's main reason for loving the NFL is its ability to unite:
"The National Football League brings together people from many different backgrounds to cheer on the same team. It has a slogan that says 'football is family.' I am a firm believer in this because I have met many Panthers fans who are now considered my family," Celia says.
It is clear that Celia gave her heart to the league, but in August of 2016, Celia's heart was split into two blues. One half was Panther blue and the other was Carolina blue. Fortunately, Celia intends to make her dreams come true at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So far, Celia's experience at UNC has proved successful, as her media and journalism class has inspired her to start a sports blog and begin reaching out to reporters and media gurus within the NFL. She has obtained several great opportunities: during the 2017 NFL Draft, Celia is going to shadow Libby Weihsmann, a sports reporter for the Carolina Panthers. Celia is also going to shadow John Clark, a photographer for The Gaston Gazette, and will be taking sports pictures of the Carolina Panthers' 2017-18 season for The Gaston Gazette.
Celia is obviously a very proactive and dream-driven freshman at UNC, and we're lucky to have her. You better start asking for her autograph now, because one day she'll be on television interviewing Luke Keuchly. Mark my words. But for now, here's a link to her blog, it's something you'll want to keep up with.
Lead Image Credit: Celia Farmer