Next Generation Radio taught me to take risks.

I met Naomi two days before I started the program. I ran into her at my weekend job.

She spoke about teaching with incredible passion. Her eyes lit up when she talked about her students’ quest for knowledge in her Mexican-American studies class. She was proud and spoke unapologetically about her culture, and I instantly knew I had to interview her.

I had already pitched a different story idea to Asma, my mentor, and had set up an interview with a local business owner and bread maker.

His life story was colorful and would have been the safe choice.

But I decided to challenge myself and reached out to Naomi Sunday night (the day before we were supposed to start reporting).

I was intrigued by her character and I wanted more people to learn her story.

During her interview, I learned that audio is a very powerful tool.

I come from a strong visual background and I didn’t realize how comfortable I am with relying on elements like video, graphics and photos to create a story.

Audio storytelling is a journey. It’s about digging deeper and getting to the core of the story and the challenge is finding a creative way to allow others to hear what I saw in Naomi.

I had no idea using only audio could result in such a vivid story.

Naomi told me it was an accident she became a teacher. It was an accident that I met her, but I am so glad I did and had a chance to share a piece of her life with Next Generation Radio.