Aside from working full time, I try to keep myself involved with things that help stimulate my mind and body. Below you can find many of the activities that I’ve been involved with over the past few years.
Free Spool Fishing Team
My brother, a few friends, and myself, with our love for the open ocean and fishing in general formed a team in 2013. Primarily targeting King Mackerel (Kingfish) during tournament season, we participate in SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) tournaments around the Carolinas, with HQ being Ocean Isle Beach, NC. We’ve been fortunate enough to obtain prominant sponsorship from companies like Wet Sounds, Hooked Soul, and Anglers Marine NC. Team Free Spool has participated in over a dozen tournaments the last two years, with our best performance coming in early 2015 with a 1st place finish at the Far Out Shoot Out, with a 72.7lb Wahoo and a 35lb Mahi. Despite our freshness in the game, Team Free Spool has competed against and sometimes placed higher than some pro-boats and cross-town rivals.
When we are not fishing tournaments, we enjoy blue water fishing for Wahoo and Mahi. During the late summer months, we can be found drifting the jettis for bull drum. Team Free Spool is a proud supporter of the US Military and has participated in Wounded Warrior fishing trips in partnership with the Kryptek Fishing Team.
Follow us on Instagram – @freespoolcc
Charlotte Saltwater Fishing Club (CSSFC)
CSSFC is a group of fishing enthusiasts who love to share their stories and fishing knowledge with all who care to listen. I have been a part of the club since the beginning of 2015, taking on the lead role of Webmaster of their outdated website. Since then, COSFC has brought on several younger members and has had a complete overhaul of the website, including a members-only section where members are able to share their fishing secrets with each other. The club meets once a month in Mathews, NC. Club meetings are held like business meetings and usually include a guest speaker. An inter-club tournament is held each year and plaques are awarded for the largest fish per species that is caught during the season.
Charlotte Seminole Club
The Charlotte Seminole Club one of three officially recognized chapters of Florida State University alumni, fans, and friends! For over 30 years, CSC have served the Charlotte area as an extension of FSU for football, bus trips, friends, social gatherings, community service, and networking. I joined the club in the middle of the 2011 season when I moved to Charlotte from New York City. I was quickly welcomed by the Seminole family and have made many great friends and connections within the group. We schedule group trips to games within the central east coast, and as far as Pasadena for the 2013 National Championship! Charlotte also happens to host the ACC Tournament every year from Bank of America Stadium. To say the least, Charlotte has one of the most active Florida State Alumni chapters in the United States. As a member of the CSC, we have no dues, no responsibilities, but some of us enjoy giving back to the community. I have volunteered on several occasions with my Seminole family for Hands on Charlotte, an non-profit organization that promotes volunteerism and direct community service to meet Charlotte’s most critical needs.
WAKA – World Adult Kickball Association
WAKA was the second organization that I became a part of after moving to Charlotte in December of 2011. I didn’t know many people that lived here, either from my hometown or from school, so I needed an outlet to be social. WAKA instantly became the favorite of activities to keep busy in. WAKA provides three seasons a year, excluding Winter, and has a laundry list of social activities which are available to you as you start your season. It has been an entertaining organization to be a part of! I mean.. Who doesn’t like to play kickball? It has not been a very great networking tool, but I can’t be happier with how it’s made my time in Charlotte a comfortable, friendly, and social one.
AITP – The Florida State Chapter
AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) is a professional association comprised of career minded individuals who seek to expand their potential through events, networking, mentoring, and socialization. The organization follows a strict code of ethics instills professionalism and defines obligations to management, fellow members, society, the College and University, employers, and the country. Fall semester of 2008 I became a member as my GPA raised just above a 3.5 within the major. While in AITP I attended many chapter board meetings, participated in social events with fellow CI members, attended guest speaker events, and networked with local and remote IT organizations. This opportunity really opened my ideas to the possibilities of opportunities at hand in the real world. It gave me a sense of self-pride that I had accomplished so much while my time here at Florida State University. It truly is an honor to be a part of such a wonderful organization. Here I have met some of my best friends and some of the brightest people I may ever come across who have instilled values and skills within myself by just watching and learning. Along with the pride I have being a member, there is nothing like walking across the stage during graduation wearing graduation cords that only AITP members have.
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY CHEERLEADING
I began cheerleading at the age of 14, performing in a strictly competitive atmosphere. By this I mean, I never actually cheered for a team, sat in front of a crowd or did what the normal person may think of as a cheerleader. It wasn’t until I came to college that I decided that I would like to join in on school spirit in a different way. While in FSU cheerleading, not only did I meet a great group of people whom I worked well with, a few of them were very influential in my choice to become an IT major. Three kids I cheered with were IT majors and really enjoyed what they were doing. This rubbed off on me about the time my computer first crashed and they were there to help. From then on, I have been working to teach myself the things they already knew. Aside from this, I learned how to become a leader and be very confident in myself, as I would be required to spend hours in front of 80,000+ fans, participate in PR events in the Presidents Box and other similar events. This really helped me gain the confidence to be in front of a big crowd, as well as present myself in front of some very important people who one day, might be offering me a job. All these aspects of cheerleading did not come from my athletic abilities, however I did excel quite well in that department, I feel that this opportunity helped me more than anything, with growing up and learning to take on the responsibilities as an adult. Similar to a job or school work, we had deadlines we had to meet in order to perform. We also had leaders, or team captains, who we went to in times of need or question. Although they were the “team leaders” I felt that each individual had their own say in everything, and we led as a team. I strongly believe that if it were not for the opportunity I was given to be a cheerleader for one of the most prestigious and school spirited universities in the country, I would not be the person I am today, and I am thankful for everything that has been put in front of me to this date.
FSU Varsity Club
This accomplishment is a life-long accomplishment. Having participated in a Varsity sport for more than two years at Florida State University, I am a lifetime member of the Varsity Club. This accomplishment allows me special seating within Doak Campbell Stadium where we are provided free food and drinks throughout the game. I am also invited to special events which include President’s parties, on-field pre-game activities, halftime honors, and special meet and greets to name a few.
FLORIDA STATE WAKEBOARDING CLUB
Upon entering college as a freshman, unaware to what I wanted to do, or what group of people I wanted to mingle with, I stumbled across a few students in the Union recruiting for the wakeboard club team. With the past water sports experience I had in my life I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to join. Like cheerleading, I met many great people who still are a big part of my life today. Although I do not really have anyone to network through, the club team instilled some great values that I believe helped in my growing up. After the first year on the team, some of our members dropped. We needed to meet a quota of people in order for Florida State to grant us money for gas and boat launch fees. We organized a huge event sponsored by us, out of own pockets to help recruit new members. We toted the team boat around town with signs and even spent multiple days in the Union with the boat, playing music and speaking to interested folk. This situation really helped with my public speaking mainly because it was something I was very passionate about. I enjoyed my team members and I spoke to those interested from my heart. I truly believed that it was a wonderful atmosphere and I made people feel how I felt through my words. Although I can’t take all the credit from our additions of new members, nor the met quota, I feel I was very influential to the cause.