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What a whirlwind of a week.

When I first saw that I was accepted into Next Gen Radio, my first reaction was overwhelming joy, followed by intense anxiety. Maybe it’s because I’m plagued, like many others, with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Did I really earn this, or am I just another checked box in regards to diversity?

Gladly that feeling shifted away over time once the program started. One thing I absolutely appreciated was the sheer amount of diversity and inclusion in our newsroom, and the talent that shined through. Different perspectives allow us to challenge views: the views of the people digesting our content, but also challenging our own views as we approach each topic.

Along with challenging views, my goals coming into the project were to lead the field in media, elevate diverse voices, and to engage the community, and I’m happy to say all of those were fulfilled. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunities Next Gen gave me this week. There were many times when I was editing audio, or typing up my story, that I’d be flying by the seat of my pants. Now that I’ve reached the end, I know I can do so much more in my field to create quality content that will engage with my community.

As I reflect on this whole week, my hope is that this program continues to grow so more people can take part in this. The opportunity to work with people who are masters of their craft, one on one, is such a gift. I don’t ever want to take it for granted. I feel empowered by the people I’m surrounded by, and more confident in my abilities as a journalist. I don’t want this to be the last time that I ever interact with all of these wonderful people; I hope to make these relationships last as I pursue a career in public radio.

I want to thank Doug, Traci, Brian and all of the other mentors and staff that made this possible. Thank you for taking a chance on me!