Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is Tevin Studdard. My childhood was spent between Haughville and 46218, and IPS and private school. My perspective and outlook on life were very different yet balanced. I saw everything from my cousin Ruben win “American Idol” to my cousin Antwyn’s recovery process after being shot eight times. I saw my uncle Graden have a thriving church in Indianapolis, while I saw my cousin Ralph sentenced to life in prison in Terre Haute. I saw my grandfather David Simms Jr. annually take bus loads of kids from the inner city to his alma mater, Central State University, while I saw my uncle who taught me how to rap, Dave, lose his vision and didn’t get to see my music videos clearly. I saw my father go to work every day and that work ethic was instilled in me at a young age. There were parts of all their lives that I admired, yet I wanted to be my own man.
At a young age, I recognized that I was gifted in music from winning school talent shows to always being the lead kid in our church’s children’s choir, Kids N Praise. My parents kept me pretty sheltered so I felt school was my stage to clown. I want to take this time to apologize to all my teachers. While substitute teaching years later, I noticed how distracting and what a headache I had to have been for them all. However growing up in church, my father lived by spare the rod, spoil the child, and my acting up in school was always followed by discipline at home.
Looking for an outlet for my energy, I asked my parents if I could play football in the eighth grade at Crispus Attucks Middle School. I was blown away by being able to finally hit people and not get in trouble. I immediately started on both sides of the ball at left tackle and defensive end and caught the attention of coaches at Cathedral High School. I would go on to be on two state championship teams at Cathedral but not crack the starting lineup until my senior year. I decided to write a song for the team during my senior year, and it was such a crazy feeling to have the team run out to it. A player on the other team started singing it and I waslike, ‘Wow, I can do this for other schools.’
As a senior in high school, I ended up writing the official theme song for the WNBA Indiana Fever and performing it at Fever games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That led to getting a scholarship to Indiana State University to write a song for the school. While there I was a communications major with a concentration in public relations and minor in social work. I went to classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, worked as a security guard at the city-county building on Mondays and Fridays, and used the money to fund my own tour around the nation. I performed at 40 universities in one semester while maintaining the job and 18 credit hours. All I knew was how to grind.
I came back home from school and I started working with students via my own radio show. The success of the show turned into filming music videos for schools throughout Indianapolis. Not being able to film with any students due to the coronavirus pandemic, I was extremely bored and came up with a song for Long’s Bakery due to their re-opening. The video went viral, and I’m here today, excited to return to the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper’s team.
As a high school student, I was a Journalism and Writing Seminars (JAWS) intern. JAWS is a great program that gives students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of journalism including writing, interviewing and graphic design. It was an amazing program that taught me a lot of skills and ultimately led me to pursue communications in college. As a JAWS intern, I was given the amazing opportunity to be paid to write articles about what took place in Indianapolis through my teenage eyes. It was such an amazing experience that laid the foundation for my career in all aspects of media. I am so happy to return to the Recorder, this time to cover school sports. Youth athletes will be featured for the positive things they are doing in the world of sports and in the community.
That’s a glimpse of my story, you’ll see the rest of my impact in the decades to come. Enough talking about me, I am excited to use this platform to highlight others, so be on the lookout for some cool features. You are now rocking with Tevin St St St St Studdard.