Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Being Brittany

Originally a Philadelphia native, I'm not so much a city girl.  My family moved to Florida in 1997, right before my sister was born.  I'm the oldest of 3 siblings and I'm blessed to be a part of a very close family.  My family was the first to move to Florida - for my Dad's job.  Shortly thereafter my Grandmom moved down, then my Aunt and Uncle along with my cousin, and a few years later my Great Aunt Karen and my other Aunts and Uncles.  We all relocated from Philadelphia to sunny Jacksonville, Florida to be together and I am so grateful for that.  All of us - brothers, sisters, cousins - are very close.  Family gatherings are the best because there's always plenty of people, food, fun, and love.  We live near water, enjoying the sunshine and the small-town life in a little place called Fleming Island where you literally can't go anywhere without seeing someone you know or someone in my family.  In my book, it's paradise.  This is where I want to live forever.

When I was younger, I was very involved in sports.  My brother and sister were too.  My mom always took my sister and I to cheer and dance, while my dad was with brother at baseball and football.  Times got very hectic where we wouldn't see each other a lot because everyone was traveling.  But it made our time when we did see each other more genuine.  The time we spent traveling I was competing all over the country with my team.  I loved cheerleading.  It really did help shape my character.  Cheerleading taught me leadership, work ethic, teamwork, trust, and allowed me to make friends and memories I'll never forget.

After I retired from cheerleading my junior year in high school, I really started to focus on what I wanted to do with my life.  I always knew I wanted to be a Gator.  And now that I wasn't distracted by cheerleading I was able to focus on another passion: TV news.  I was in my third year at my high school's Television Production Academy - an exclusive program to our school, the only TV Production program of its kind in our county.  Our teacher, Mr. Roberts, gave me the opportunity to start producing our daily newscasts, then anchoring them.  I had a big responsibility, usually eating my lunch in the control room while I wrote the show and made graphics.  Our show aired at the end of the day so I had TV class 6th period, when I would anchor it.  I realized this is what I want to do and made it my goal to pursue this field at the University of Florida.  Just a few days ago I had the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and MMJ a story about teens and social media (during homecoming week - hence "Cat in the Hat" in the photo below).  I've also been given the amazing opportunity to be a member of the TV Production/Photojournalism Academy Advisory Board.

One person who's had a huge impact on my life is my Grandmom.  She always treated her grandchildren equally but I swear I was one of her favorites.  If I wasn't traveling with cheer or busy with school I used to go spend the weekends at her house and we'd just watch movies together (usually Mama Mia!), eat ice cream with pretzels, and hang out.  She was one of my best friends.  She was not like a typical grandmother at all.  Our "thing" was traveling.  We went to Philadelphia, New York, the Jersey Shore, cruised to the Bahamas, and our best trip: a 2 week cruise in Europe.  That trip was for my high school graduation and it was amazing.  We had the best time learning the history of all the countries we visited and going to countless castles, palaces and museums.  I love history like my Grandmom did and that was something we shared.  She passed away unexpectedly a few years ago after a simple gallbladder surgery went wrong.  She was a two-time breast cancer survivor but healthy as she could be.  She was involved in line-dancing, and volunteered at Marineland for fun.  She was not the typical grandmother, as I've mentioned.  I still miss her everyday and I still get upset thinking about her not being here because we didn't really have time to say goodbye.  Despite that, I was able to share 20 years with her and those years were filled with so much love, fun and memories.  I learned a lot from her and I know she's proud of me.  I'm still a traveler and want to eventually cruise the Mediterranean like we had planned, but never got to do.  I'm going on a cruise next week actually, and bringing her white floppy hat she wore when we went to the beach all the time - so it'll be like she's coming with me on this trip, but in spirit.

As of now, I'm a coffee-addicted college senior at the University of Florida studying Telecommunication-News.  I love story-telling and news, so I am exactly where I need to be.  I've been blessed with so many opportunities and experiences at UF that I can't imagine getting anywhere else.  I landed at job in my home-town of Jacksonville for a year as an Associate Producer.  I earned some money while gaining even more experience so I lucked out big time rather than having to do an unpaid internship.  I even got some air time on Friday nights reporting on upcoming weekend happenings.  Back in Gainesville at UF, I'm MMJ reporting and anchoring for WUFT-TV.  I've made some amazing friends in Gainesville and couldn't be more happy with where my life is going.  I'm graduating in December with honors and can't wait to see what the future holds.

Google Brittany -- YouTube or Brittany Bassler
First Coast News -- Jimmy & Brittany in Jax
Resume -- Brittany Bassler


  1. You are so fantastic, Britt! I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. I know you're going to go far :)

  2. This is a great bio, Britt! You did a great job. Your post is so detailed, and the pictures are great!