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“In the Time of COVID-19”

is a set of audio and digital stories highlighting the experiences of people whose lives have changed dramatically during the pandemic.

This project was produced in January 2021 in partnership with WUSF Public Media and conducted virtually. Our reporters are students and recent graduates in Florida.

Gym owner keeps clients exercising and business alive after shutting down

Daniel Marks, the owner of a private gym in South Florida, hustles to save his business by loaning out his equipment and providing virtual workout sessions during the coronavirus pandemic.
By Amber Amortegui

Rebuilding the faith:

How this reverend keeps her community socially connected while physically distant

Reverend Crystal Muldrow’s dedication to supporting the congregants of Unity Fort Myers during the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates how this church is more than just the building.
By Karina Cashman

‘Consider me an essential worker’

How one woman supports Black trans sex workers in the Tampa Bay area

The COVID-19 pandemic has made street-based sex workers even more vulnerable. Ashunte Coleman, a Black trans woman, provides health services, resources, and a safe space for her community.
By Jordan Norris-Gaither

Two farmers, one mission

How a Tallahassee couple adapted to the pandemic

Farmers at Smarter by Nature are tending to their community and their crops to cultivate their business. By maintaining a social media presence, the couple has been able to increase their profit during a global economic and health crisis.
By Noella Williams

One dance teacher goes virtual and brings Bomba and Plena to a new stage

Barbara Liz-Cepeda refuses to let the pandemic stop her from running her Puerto Rican cultural arts school Escuela de Bomba y Plena Tata Cepeda. As the founder and the director of the Central Florida non-profit, she’s making it her mission to expand her audience and reach the Puerto Rican diaspora around the globe through virtual platforms.
By Héctor García De León

About NextGenRadio

The Next Generation Radio Project is a week-long digital journalism training project designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in radio and journalism, the skills and opportunity to report and produce their own multimedia story. Those chosen for the project are paired with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor.

This edition of the #NPRNextGenRadio project was produced in collaboration with WUSF Public Media in January 2021.


Audio engineers Selena Seay-Reynolds and Ellis Munoz
Visuals team lead Erica Lee,  New Jersey-based freelance journalist, with Kevin Beaty of The Denverite and Colorado Public Radio.
Illustration team lead Yunyi Dai with Emily Whang and Ard Su
Digital Editor Alexis Richardson, Chief Innovation Officer, and Digital Strategist, “The Mom Edit,” based in Philadelphia.
Robert Boos of Metropolitan State in Minneapolis is our Web Developer.

Our journalist/mentors for this project were:
Gabriela Saldivia, independent journalist based in Spain.
Mark Schreiner, Reporter/Host at WUSF Tampa
Jessica Meszaros, Reporter/Host at WUSF Tampa.
Leslie Ovalle, Producer at WLRN Miami.
Molly Samuel, Environmental Reporter for WABE Atlanta.
Our Managing Editor this week was Amy Tardif, Regional Manager for StoryCorps, based in Chicago

NPR’s Next Generation Radio program is directed by its founder, Doug Mitchell.