The Next Generation Radio program is no joke. 

When I got the email saying what we were supposed to accomplish in four days – an audio piece, a web story, photos and audiograms – I was overwhelmed, nervous, and if I’m being honest, scared out of my mind. 

I kept thinking, “There’s no way I can do this in such a short time.” 

But I did do it, and it does truly take a village.

In just a short week, I have learned so much from all the amazing people on the team. 

I learned you should ALWAYS bring extra batteries, even if you charged them the night before. My equipment died 10 minutes into my interview with my source. I was lucky my mentor was there with backup equipment, but the experience gave me trust issues! 

I learned some awesome shortcuts from audio engineer Selena that have changed my life for the better! I’ve had some experience with Audition before, but it was never enjoyable until I met Selena. Her shortcuts helped me understand why audio editing is fun and how powerful audio is. (Seriously, I’m super grateful for Selena!) 

Finally, I learned how to kick imposter syndrome to the curb. I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome my whole college career. There are days I convince myself I don’t belong in the journalism world, that I don’t have the skills, or that I just simply cannot do journalism. But after telling Sofi Gonzalzez’s karate story, I understood that storytelling is truly an art and not a science – and it’s an art I can do! If I can survive Next Gen, I can survive anything! 

I’m so grateful for my mentor Dani Matias. She made me laugh when I was stressed; she bought Starbucks to fuel us on one of our heavier work days; but more importantly, she always always believed in me (and is a great camerawoman!) Thank you also to Stephanie Federico for helping me take my ideas and thoughts and turn them into sentences. 

Next Generation Radio taught me a lot of important technical skills. But, above all, it taught me that I can do anything with the right village and … an idea. 

Thank you all for working with me and giving me the opportunity to tell Sofi’s story.