My experience with NPR Next Generation Radio was amazing, but also stressful. At the last minute, I had to scramble to find a new guest when schedules couldn’t work out. This taught me how ingenuity is at the heart of journalism. I was able to pivot and find an amazing person to interview that turned into a great story. It’s hard for me to continue to push forward when you feel like things aren’t working out, but my mentor and program directors encouraged me to continue. They also gave me the tools to tell a great story and be successful in doing so.

This program pushed me to pursue storytelling. It helped me connect with people who I aspire to be and gave me valuable insight into how to transition from being a student journalist to a career reporter. I was able to work with my mentor who helped me hone my skills and gave me the confidence to pursue storytelling through other media. I had some experience with audio recording and Adobe audition before, but after my experience with my mentor and the audio engineer I was able to pick up shortcuts and tools that made me more proficient and that saved me time. I feel more confident in being able to produce quality sound storytelling. I want to tell more stories through sound in the future — hopefully as soon as possible.

Learning to not hyperfocus on one specific thing in my story was hard for me, as I just wanted to share my interviewee’s entire story. In the future, I would like to be able to interview with confidence.The next time I help tell someone else’s story I’d like to ask them what key elements they would like to highlight. In that way, I can honor them the best I can.