I listen to NPR every day, and I saw that Next Generation Radio was coming to St. Louis. I majored in journalism, and I do a little freelance today, but I really wanted to get back into the field full time. I currently work as an ESL instructor for Parkway Schools at Clayton High School. I hoped that applying to this digital sprint would not only enhance my skills but potentially create an opportunity to reconnect with a past part of myself. So, I decided to apply. 

At the beginning of the week, I met at STLPR with staff and the other reporters. My mentor, Ariel Van Cleave, and I went out to interview my source. There’s just so much involved in recording a source that I would never have thought of. Throughout my career in journalism, I’ve primarily worked in print. I’ve never thought about recording sound and how it would be important to hold a microphone steady or to check the sound levels when conducting an interview. It was really great to have someone there with me making sure I didn’t forget to do that. 

The next few days went by so quickly. I honestly couldn’t wait for each new day to rush into the space and start a new part of the project. Even in times of high stress, everyone in the program was immensely helpful and made the experience exciting and enjoyable. There’s just so much to learn from this amazing group of diverse and intelligent individuals. And it helped me focus on how I might change the future through a different type of media–for myself and for others. 

I’m really happy that I did this. I’m proud of my story, and I’m grateful to share this experience with others.