I always say that I learned my love of storytelling from my grandmother. When someone asks why I like reporting – that’s my immediate answer. I remember riding in the car or sitting on the front porch and begging my grandmother to tell me more stories. I’d ask her to repeat some of my favorites and she always satisfied my curiosity and told one more story. 

When I applied for NPR NextGenRadio: Indigenous, I considered this a way to explore other avenues of journalism and storytelling. However, as I began, I realized how powerful the spoken word is. I realized the power in allowing someone to tell their own story and how meaningful it is to hear the emotion in their voice. I learned that listening to a story can engage all of our other senses too. 

This week has been challenging, but so meaningful. When they call this a “sprint” they really mean it. I learned so much from my mentor, Tiffany, who encouraged me to take ownership of my story, while also guiding me to go deeper and pull out the best parts of the story. Collaboration made this project 10 times more significant. 

As a remote fellow, I was presented with a particularly unique challenge in acquiring equipment, completing my interview, and collecting photos and sound bites. I was so thankful to have my mentor and other staff nearby via Zoom, but also thankful for the challenge of truly being thrown into the world of audio journalism solo. 

From getting lost while borrowing equipment from WUNC to panicking because I thought I lost my entire project in Adobe Audition – I learned to stay cool under pressure. 

This week reminded me of how special our stories are and I’m excited that I was able to be a part of telling someone’s story.

Women in red and black and white striped shirt sits at a table

My granny, who taught me to love stories.