There’s so much we accomplished in a week, and that truly amazed me! So did seeing how hard working everyone is and how much care they have for the stories we tell. Before this, I believed my work always fell short – but Next Generation Radio continued to show me that wasn’t true. 

The moment I received the email that I got into the program, I cried and called my mom and dad. I told them, “I made it!” I’ve applied to so many fellowships and internships, to only get rejection emails. It took so much of me to keep going, especially during the pandemic last year. My time was now. And here I am, finally at the end of the program.

To be quite honest, this week filled me with so much anxiety and panic. I focused my story on a reproductive rights activist continuing her work amid one of the most restrictive abortion law overhauls in Texas. That, in and of itself, felt like I was confronting something so big. But I knew that I cared about this issue, and so did Rachel Carter, and so did everyone else involved with this story. 

The Next Generation Radio family is so supportive, caring, hardworking and smart. All that anxiety and panic from the beginning of the week slowly dissipated into the work we put in. My mentor, Alé, was the sweetest and most caring mentor ever, who really pushed me to strive for the best. She helped me stay on track when I felt like a jumbled mess and comforted me with inspirational quotes and photos of her cat! I absolutely loved working with her! I am so glad to have met everyone, and I will continue to stay connected to them.

I also want to say thank you to Erica Lee for understanding more about photo selection and what works well in a story. I’m a photographer myself, and what she taught me helped me tremendously.

After everything, I can say that I did it. I made it. There were no shortcomings; there was only love and care for storytelling.

Thank you so much.