I learned about the Next Generation Radio Project one week before the registration deadline. Usually, I am careful about the projects I jump into, making sure I have time for each. But for this, I knew it was now or never and that fast thinking would make the difference between having a once in a lifetime experience or not. I was right –it was worth it.

Coming from a print background, I had little knowledge of what to expect. I had done my research and taken the appropriate classes, but nothing could have fully prepared me for what it was like practicing radio journalism for a multimedia platform on the field. I had to learn-by-doing my way through new programs like Audition and audiogram making apps, while simultaneously managing what is usually my sole role –a written 600-word piece, and taking the accompanying photographs.

I had a professional growth experience like I could have never imagined, by learning to not only work but multitask within different mediums on a tight deadline. I also had to be multilingual when thinking about a project. The added challenge of creating a bilingual product with an additional subtitled slideshow component intensified the challenge. By the end of the week, I was uploading images and working to integrate them as I multitasked on split screens- one in English and one in Spanish. I have never been more professionally challenged, and none of it would have been possible without my incredibly experienced, patient and kind mentor- Carrie Jung.

This story is based on immigrant artist Francisco Chavez, who like each of my past sources, taught me a little more about life and trusted me with telling his story. I will never be the same after visiting the migrant safehouse, Casa Marianella, where his art is located and witnessing why he chooses to work with the immigrant community. Seeing their realities and having them express the importance of having their stories told was an inspiration I will always carry with me.

Today, I leave with more purpose in the career I have chosen, a clearer understanding of an entirely new multimedia skill set, and a passion for another avenue of storytelling.