It’s All Happening

Less than a week ago I was still a college student scouring the Internet for job openings, attempting to get the wrinkles out of my graduation gown, and frantically checking my e-mail for news about the Young & Free Maine position. Today, I am college graduate (though I never really got all of the wrinkles out of my gown) with very real job prospects as a finalist for Young & Free Maine. It’s crazy how much can change in a couple of days!

The finalists for Young & Free Maine were announced last Friday afternoon and I was so excited to see my picture on the website as part of the Top 3. I applied for the position last year but didn’t make it, so having another chance to apply and advance to the next round was a great privilege. I spent the afternoon celebrating, spreading the word and campaigning for votes. My family and friends started to arrive, so my focus shifted to graduation. As if making it to the Top 3 wasn’t exciting enough, I was going to graduate from college the next morning!

After four years of hard work and sleep deprivation I finally got to walk across the stage, accept my diploma from the University of Maine, and shake the hands of my professors dressed in Dumbledore-esque robes and tasseled hats. The announcer said my name wrong (Kyle instead of Kylie), but it didn’t knock the smile from my face. I’ve never been more proud of my accomplishments. And plus, there was a smorgasbord of barbecue food and a castle-shaped bounce house waiting for me at home as part of my graduation celebration. What’s not to smile about?

I’ve had so many new and exciting experiences since graduating college and making it to the Top 3 for Young & Free Maine. On Monday I appeared on the news program Good Day Maine along with Danielle for a live interview. I got up at 4:30 a.m., drove to Portland from Old Town (about 150 miles), and before I knew it I was in front of the camera and chatting with anchor Jennifer Lynch about the financial issues facing my generation. I probably would have been nervous, but everything happened so fast I didn’t have time to worry!

Being in the Top 3 for Young & Free Maine is so much fun and I know I’m going to have many more great experiences along the way, so I want to thank everyone who viewed my original application video and blog as well as the Young & Free Maine team for selecting me as a finalist. I would love the opportunity to represent the 18 to 25 crowd for Maine’s Credit Unions and bring important, interesting and fun information to my generation via blogs and videos. If you haven’t already, take a second to vote!

Have questions or ideas that you’d like me to explore? Reach me on Twitter (@KylieAKeene) or leave a comment here. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!