CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 Eyewitness News anchor Terrell Brown is a natural in front of the camera - but he hit a setback early on that nearly kept him from pursuing a career in television news.
Brown was the commencement speaker at Kenwood Academy's graduation ceremony on Chicago's South Side Wednesday. He spoke to the audience about how his dream of becoming a broadcast journalist was nearly derailed.
After graduating high school in Virginia, Brown thought he had landed the "golden ticket" when he was admitted to Syracuse University to study broadcast journalism.
After touring the campus and setting up his class schedule - even finding his dorm - Brown said he received another letter in the mail a week before he was due to start his freshman year.
He was told there had been a mistake with his financial aid, and he'd have to pay the $33,000 tuition bill immediately - or he wouldn't be able to attend classes.
"I actually walked onto the campus and I watched this dream fall apart right in front of me. No plan B. I had no college to go to. I felt stupid for dreaming and believing in this lofty dream. I felt stupid for believing that someone like me would even think that I could go to a school like that," Brown said.
Brown ended up attending Virginia Commonwealth University in his hometown of Richmond - and you'll never guess how a part-time job helped him get his first big break in TV news.
Watch the video above to hear Brown tell the remarkable story in his own words.
ABC7's Terrell Brown shares setback that nearly derailed his TV news career
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