Hi! My name is Jess Simmons. I am currently a junior, from Deland, Florida, attending the University of Florida to pursue a career in Sports Journalism.
Being able to connect with others through sports is a strong passion of mine. After having multiple scholarship opportunities to play baseball at the collegiate level, I have been able to create a valuable network of friends and assets from various different backgrounds of life and sports.
Unfortunately, I was faced with a few devastating injuries that required 3 surgeries, and has closed the door on my dream of playing baseball professionally. However, after a conversation with a family friend and Gator alumni, Jeff Darlington, he helped me realize that I can still live out my dream and stay connected to the sport I love in another way.
At my previous school, I got my first taste at what the field of Sports and Media is like when I had the wonderful chance to be a color commentator for a few of my team’s live televised baseball games. Since then, I started a motivational podcast with hundreds of listeners, that has furthered my experience and confidence with public speaking and storytelling. As a result of being in the Journalism and Sports Media program, I strongly believe I will have a greater advantage to illustrate and bring to life the impact sports has had on my life, making it more than just a game.
After attaining my degree, I plan to work as an on-field reporter for professional sports while I raise awareness for athlete mental health and help grow the convergence between media and athletes.
I am the co-founder of Every Child Matters of America, a non-profit organization based out of Coral Springs, Florida, as well as being the host of “Elevate and Motivate” motivational/mental health advocacy podcast.
Looking forward, this will be the first spring break in my life not in a dugout as a player. This is a new season in my life, but I am extremely excited to see what opportunities this immersion experience with the MLB will bring and the network I can continue to build. Follow along as I create memories, and experience this beautiful game of baseball at the highest level in its purest form through stories and moments around the Grapefruit League.
For now, enjoy my mic’d up summer ball reel.