What It Means To Be An American — Next Generation Radio At Colorado Public Radio

Doug Mitchell/Next Generation Radio
Next Generation Radio participant Ivy Winfrey interviews Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi at his home in Boulder.

The Next Generation Radio Project is a 5-day digital journalism and audio training project that travels the country engaging with students and recent graduates with a passion for telling stories and an interest in public media.

Illustration by Eejoon Choi, Emily Whang, and Yunyi Dai
CPR Next Gen 2021 participants. Top row: Christen Aldridge and Gray Newman. Bottom row: Ivy Winfrey , Anya Quesnel, and Benedict Wright.

CPR recently hosted the project, with mentors from the station and throughout the Next Gen network helping four participants craft intricate non-narrated stories and full digital articles. Their stories profiled individuals of all sorts of backgrounds reflecting on what it means to them to be an American.

View the full project here.

Catalino "Cat" Edles

Catalino “Cat” Edles
Kevin Beaty

Serving The Country That Took Me In: A Young Veteran’s Reflections On Afghanistan And Patriotism — Benedict Wright introduces us to Catalino “Cat” Edles. His immigrant background and experience in the military make him value the freedom of being an American. At 27-years-old, Edles views America with mixed feelings of both pride and concern as he transitions further into civilian life.

Anna Sofia Vera

Anna Sofia Vera for Next Generation Radio
Anya B. Quesnel

To Be American Is To Ask What It Means: How A Dual Citizen Finds Home In Herself — Anya Quesnel shares the story of Anna Sofia Vera, a dual citizen of Chile and the United States, who explores what it means to belong when roots in two countries lead to an ever-shifting definition of home.

Usama Alshaibi

Usama Alshaibi
Ivy Winfrey

To One Arab-American Filmmaker, Being American Is Having The Possibility Of Change — Ivy Winfrey reports on filmmaker Usama Alshaibi, who came to the United States from Iraq as a child. To him, being American means being proud of who you are and where you came from in the face of overwhelming resistance.

Sylvia Lambe

Sylvia Lambe from Next Generation Radio
Christen Aldridge

An African-Caribbean British Woman Plants Roots In Her Late Husband’s Hometown And Embraces Her New American Life —Christen Aldridge brings us the story of a Denver newcomer who never saw herself living in the U.S., not even after she married an American. But that all changed for Sylvia Lambe when her husband died and she decided to raise their youngest son in his hometown.

Aspiring audio producer Grayton Newman also participated as a student in the project, helping to record an interview and mix one of the pieces.