Why She’s Amazing

Trenni Kusnierek doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.

Trenni is a sports anchor/reporter for Comcast SportsNet New England in Boston. She has worked in several local markets as well as at the national level for the MLB Network, ABC Sports and the Big Ten Network. Impressively, Trenni has covered all four sports, including the Super Bowl and the World Series. She has also covered the national championship games and PGA majors.

Trenni is an accomplished athlete in her own right, running 11 marathons – including three Boston Marathons – as well as reaching the summit of Mt. Rainier.

Trenni is also a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to make a difference. She donates generously of her time with volunteer work, including traveling to India to teach English. In recent years, Trenni courageously used her platform to begin a discussion about mental illness, including her struggle with depression.

We had a chance to ask Trenni a few questions. Something tells us that this modern day trailblazer just might become a woman who changes the world.

“If I’m doing my job as a journalist and bringing real issues to light than there’s a chance we see positive, systematic change in the areas which need it most.” – Trenni Kusnierek

Q & A

Q: When you were a young girl, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

A: I always wanted to be a journalist! I can remember being a young girl and “interviewing” my family with our camcorder and pretending to anchor newscasts.

Q: What did people think when you told them that?

A: I always remember my family being supportive, but teachers and classmates were skeptical. Even at Marquette we were told how journalism was a difficult industry to break into, but I think they have to warn students!

Q: Did people call you “princess” when you were a little girl and, if so, how did that make you feel?

A: Yes, but not until I was older. Because I was a take charge, opinionated adolescent it was often conveyed that I was “difficult” or a “princess”. Somehow the message was, if you are a girl and you have standards, expectations and demands you are not easy to get along with. I work really hard to make sure my niece (she’s five) knows this is not true.

Q: How did you become interested in Journalism?

A: I’ve always been curious, loved the idea of (and now traveling to) far-off places and always wanted to know WHY things happen. Journalism always seemed natural to me. I also loved sports, so as I got older and more women worked in that industry it seemed like the perfect fit. Now I’m able to combine my love of athletics with my curiosity about the world because I’ve realized sports are a reflection of society. I’m no longer afraid to question leagues on difficult topics or call certain practices into question. But, it wasn’t always that way. It took a long time for me to really find and trust my voice in such a male-dominated industry.

Q: Did you have a mentor or role model who inspired you?

A: There are a lot of women I I look up to: Andrea Kraemer, Gloria Steinem, Kathy Mykleby, Rachel Nichols, Lesley Visser, Sally Wiggin (an anchor in Pittsburgh)

Q: Did your family and friends support your aspirations?

A: I think so…hahaha. I’m definitely “different” so while I’m not sure they fully understand why I wanted to spend a month in India or attend lectures at a book fest on various social topics, they accept it.

Photo Gallery

Q: Did you think about being called a “trailblazer” for choosing this path?

A: No, because I certainly wasn’t the first. So many women (like the ones I mentioned above) came long before me. I feel like I’m smoothing out the path, not necessarily blazing the trail!

Q: What motivates you?

A: Change. If I’m doing my job as a journalist and bringing real issues to light then there’s a chance we see positive, systematic change in the areas which need it most.

Q: Of what are you most proud?

A: Talking openly about my battle with anxiety and depression. It has allowed me to reach people in a way I never expected.

Q: What would you like people to learn from you?

A: Compassion, empathy and understanding are the best paths to a better way. It’s easy to have tunnel vision in life and only see things from a limited to perspective. You don’t have to actually walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but I’d suggest you at least think about what it might be like.

Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?

A: Passionate. Opinionated. A good heart.

Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your accomplishments?

A: I mean well. I may not always articulate my passions as calmly as I’d like, but I really want to help make the world a better place.

Q: Who do you follow on social media that shares your passion for relevant and honest dialogue?

A: Oh goodness…there are so many amazing people out there. Jane McManus at ESPN, Julie DiCario at SI/The Cauldron, Richard Dietsch at SI, Dave Zirin at Edge of Sports…

Q: If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?

A: Gloria Steinem

Q: Which woman would you choose to have on U.S. currency?

A: Sandra Day O’Connor or Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Q: What advice would you give to a girl who right now wants to be just like you?

A: Don’t be like me, be yourself.

Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Modern Day Trailblazer we interview?

A: How do we have productive dialogue on divisive topics with people who don’t share our world view?

Fun Facts:

  • The last book Trenni read was ISIS: The State of Terror by J.M. Berger and Jessica Stern.
  • Her go-to karaoke song is any song by Britney Spears.
  • She’s normally a little late… which she says is so rude.
  • Trenni’s favorite quote is “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
  • Her goal is to start binge watching The Wire.