CPR News Reporter and Producer
Sarah Hughes

Education: Bachelor’s degree, world literature, University of California-Santa Cruz; special studies in Spanish Literature, University of Alcala de Henares, Spain; special studies in African literature,University of Cape Town, South Africa; Master’s degree in journalism, University of California-Berkeley.Professional Background: Sarah, who is fluent in Spanish, worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in California for the Teach for America program from 1995-1997. In 1997, she entered the Master of Journalism program at UC Berkeley and studied under former New York Times South American bureau chief Lydia Chavez and Bill Drummond, founding editor of NPR’s “Morning Edition.” A month after completing the program, she boarded a plane for Alaska, where she spent the next year and a half covering stories about natural resource debates and local politics for two local public radio stations there. From 2001 to early 2007, Sarah worked as a general assignment reporter with a special focus on education and immigration for WAMU in Washington D.C. In 2007, she moved to Colorado and reported on immigration for Aspen Public Radio. In 2008 and 2009, she worked as a Denver-based freelance reporter, traveling to Peru and Argentina for international media exchange and research projects, and founded a radio project for Colorado teenagers, called Colorado Youth News.Awards, Fellowships, Media Exchange Programs and Reporting Conferences: Socrates Society Fellowship, The Aspen Institute, Summer 2009; PCI-Media Impact International Exchange Project in Peru, Spring 2008; Philip Merrill College of Journalism Fellowship for Journalists in Child and Family Policy, 2003; Best Spot News Coverage, Washington D.C. AIR Awards, “D.C. After the Control Board,” 2001; Reporting on Immigration Conference, Harvard University, 1999. In her own words …Why I became a journalist: I became a journalist because I enjoy working for the public and I enjoy researching community issues; journalism gives me the opportunity to pursue both of these passions.Why I got into radio: I started the UC Berkeley Master of Journalism program with the goal of learning how to write for magazines. I took a radio class on a whim. My very first assignment was to capture the sounds of a community sing-along at a local Irish pub. By the end of the evening, I had captured some magical interviews and songs on tape, and I was hooked. That was back in 1997, and I’ve been working in radio ever since.How I ended up at CPR: I have covered several education and immigration stories for CPR as a freelance reporter. I also know CPR through my work as director of the Colorado Youth News (CYN) project. CYN is a radio storytelling project for teenagers, and several of the pieces that I produced have aired on CPR. [ Previous ] [ Back to List ] [ Next ]

  • This summer, we’ve been bringing you stories about backyard farmers.
  • Ryan Warner speaks with Jefferson County Public School Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. Jefferson County is anticipating about 16 million dollars in federal funds. She tells Colorado Public Radio the district will use the money to hire new teachers to help reduce class size.
  • Colorado is trying to figure out how to handle a specific group of illegal immigrants. Those who’ve been arrested for violent crimes. Some sheriffs and police chiefs in Colorado want to join a program to share information with the federal government.
  • Colorado applied for millions of dollars in federal education grant money. It planned to use the $175 million dollars to help fast-track several major education reforms.
  • Starting high school can be tough. Not everyone’s ready to make the jump from 8th to 9th grade. But a program in the Denver Public Schools is designed to ease the transition. Thousands of incoming freshmen took part in “9th Grade Academies” just before school started this week.
  • If you go to the Colorado Scottish Festival this weekend in Highlands Ranch one of the bands you could hear is Angus Mohr.
  • One neighborhood fights graffiti in an unsual way. The community invites a group of Denver taggers to spray paint a community mural on a  warehouse that’s covered with  graffiti. The thinking behind this is if taggers create a mural, then others won’t mark it up. Colorado Public Radio’s Sarah Hughes reports.
  • It’s the ultimate make over– replacing traditional school cafeteria food with salad bars and whole grain bread. This kind of transformation is happening across the country. We’re going to hear about some examples here in Colorado.
  • Denver fashion designer Mondo Guerra has already made his mark on the local fashion scene. Deejays, drag queens and artists all have been spotted wearing his eclectic pieces.  Now, he’s taking his style and fashion sense national.
  • The Rocky Mountain Alley Cat Alliance has launched a summer campaign called “Beat the Heat.” The goal is to neuter and spay 2,000 cats in metro Denver.The alliance is even offering a discount–to both cat owners who haven’t fixed their pets– and to people who want to control the alley cat population in their neighborhood.

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  • When people lose their jobs and homes, it can also be a financial challenge to care for pets, what with the cost of vet bills and pet deposits and food.
  • Several school districts in Colorado are doing “turnarounds” at some of their most troubled schools. A “turnaround” means replacing the principal and half the school staff. The idea is to give a distressed school a fresh start.
  • Lots of kids in this state qualify for a free school lunch because they come from low-income families. But what happens in the summer, when school’s out? Some of them may still need more food than they can get at home. That’s where the summer meal program comes in.
  • Pamela Irwin has written four books on Colorado wildflower hikes. She tells Ryan Warner about hikes along the Ice Lakes Basin near Silverton, through Rustler Gulch near Crested Butte, through Monte Cristo Gulch near Breckenridge, and along the Arapaho Pass Trail near Nederland.
  • The exhibit, “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” opens in Denver.It’s one of the largest exhibits ever showcased at the Denver Art Museum, and it’s expected to draw several hundred thousand visitors. Many of the objects are made of gold.