Imagine having a dream where your most desired career is just within your grasp and then you wake up to find yourself already living that dream.
Currently, this is 22-year-old, University of Rhode Island senior, Bennett Koffa’s life. As the Woonsocket native finishes up his last few months at URI he is leaving behind a legacy with the Bennett Knows Radio show.
Even though he was born and raised in Rhode Island, Koffa grew up in more than a dozen foster homes across Rhode Island.
“When I was a child one of my escapes from the always changing foster care system was pop culture and music via mainstream America,” he said. “As I grew older, I explored many hobbies including dance, sports and food but found my ultimate passion in music and pop culture.”
Like most college students, Koffa was not exactly sure where he wanted to settle down when it came to his major. He entered URI as an education major, pursued that for a while, but in the end switched to communications in order to enter the entertainment field. To get his name out there, Koffa decided to make his own website: BennettKnows.com
Once the site started to receive attention, Koffa was offered a position at RIU2, URI’s radio station, but he turned it down. Koffa did not really see himself belonging in radio until he started looking at his idol’s career paths. Oprah Winfrey and Ryan Seacrest, both of whom have had much success in the radio business.
Shortly after, Koffa ended up taking the position the radio and offers started coming in. He was offered a position as a TV Host for URI TV and eventually more doors opened for him.
“With the development within both, my following and brand grew,” Koffa said. “I was given the opportunity to host on FM radio and throughout colleges in Rhode Island. As said before, the career path within this field consists of determination and hard work via networking and experiences.”
The Bennett Knows Radio show started in 2012 and ever since, has been a blessing to Koffa.
“At first, I started as a way to gain experience within my field,” said Koffa. “As the show developed the response that I received to our work was incredible. I knew that I wanted to showcase my interviewing skills.”
Koffa started shadowing major radio shows. He then decided that he would use his show to showcase local Rhode Island talent. Koffa began including various videographers, one co host and any homegrown talent who were willing to sit down for him for an interview. Over the last three years, Bennett Knows Radio has had over 150 special guests and has added a couple of other team members.
An average show starts off with the Bennett Knows crew discussing their weekends, new topics in pop culture, new music and a preview to the night’s special guests. In order to fill up their six hour slot, each team member (on-air/behind-the-scenes) provides a 30 minute playlist with a correlating entertainment segment. In between each segment and playlist, the team interviews their special guest and gives them the opportunity to promote their work while showcasing their talent.
Some notable Rhode Island talents that have been featured include rappers Code Green, Cam Bells and Jon Hope. Hot 106’s Bekah Berger, Miss Rhode Island 2014 Christina Palavra, reality television stars Dario from MTV’s “Are You The One” and Bruno from MTV’s “The Real World: Skeletons”.
“As the show developed, the response that I received to our work was incredible,” said Koffa. “Listeners and viewers enjoyed the radio show just as much as the talents who appreciated the platform to showcase their work. Ultimately, the radio show has provided enjoyable experiences and success for everyone involved! I’m looking forward to pursuing radio for the rest of my career.”
After graduation, Koffa plans to explore more of journalism, television and radio broadcasting in order to achieve his dream of becoming one of the most influential personalities in entertainment. Although this transition can be nerveracking for many graduates, Koffa is excited to move forward and chase his dreams.
“I feel comfortable to move forward with these experiences I have gained at the University of Rhode Island,” he said. “Every person that I have worked with, whether it’s a team-member or special guest, each has taught me a lesson about success, motivating and inspiring to move forward. Â And I cannot wait to turn this hobby into a full-time career!”