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EFE Radio Broadcasting Alumni Chases Dream Career at WMU

Zachary Wagner has loved listening to sports on the radio ever since he was young. When he reached his junior year at Vicksburg High School, Wagner realized the potential to turn that passion into a career through the Kalamazoo RESA Education for Employment (EFE) Radio Broadcasting program.

“As a kid, I loved listening to sports games on the radio and I thought this course would give me a little insight into the radio world. Little did I know I would fall in love with radio and start to broadcast high school football and basketball games through opportunities which were opened up to me because of EFE,” said Wagner.

The EFE alumni participated in the program, taught by Mr. Mark Monk, for two years at the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo. “Mr. Monk really took the time to learn as much about me as he could and helped me decide how I wanted to set up our radio show. He is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my entire high school career,” explained Wagner

A self-proclaimed sports fanatic, and currently a freshman at Western Michigan University (WMU) studying Communications, Wagner spends his free-time working with the athletic department to assist with sports media and the recording of statistics. This exciting opportunity has also allowed him to travel with WMU’s sports teams and he’s even been asked to record statistics for ESPN networks on several occasions. However, some of his most memorable experiences so far are having met several important sports figures including college and professional football legend Desmond Howard and Jimmy King, a member of the University of Michigan’s Fab Five.

“I went into Western Michigan University with a step-up from anybody else trying to do what I am doing, as I have already begun my journey toward broadcasting,” said Wagner. “Any high school student that does not take an EFE course is missing out!”

In the EFE Radio Broadcasting program, students will explore all aspects of the radio broadcasting industry and gain hands-on work experience with a student-run and managed radio station, 89.9 FM WKDS. Potential career opportunities include a sports announcer, news executive producer, radio personality and more.