One senior from the School of Journalism and Electronic Media had the opportunity of a lifetime to cover President Obama's visit to Knoxville on Friday, January 9th. Read Rilwan Balogun's fascinating story and how he refused to let any obstacle in the way stop him from achieving his goal.
Rilwan first heard that Obama was coming to Knoxville the Sunday before classes began and immediately sent a text to faculty member Mike Wiseman asking what he had to do to get there. "The next thing I know," said Rilwan, "Mike sent an email back saying 'I emailed the White House Press Secretary,' and I said okay!" Rilwan also takes classes part time at Pellissippi State Community College where he found out was the location where the President would be speaking, and while waiting for a reply from the Press Secretary, he discovered Pellissippi student tickets could be purchased to the event. That Tuesday he called but ran into a problem when the college told him only full time students could receive tickets. Never discouraged, Rilwan asked how he could get a press pass since he was with The Volunteer Channel here at UT, and the response was that the White House would have to send one. Rilwan got in touch with a friend that works at WBIR locally and they forwarded him the email containing the press pass application, which he filled out and again waited for a response.