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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 September 2020 in partnership with Colorado Public Radio and conducted virtually. Our reporters are students and recent graduates in Colorado.

Our Reporters

Isabelle Armstrong

Isabelle Armstrong

Belle Armstrong is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minor in Creative Writing. Belle interned as a reporter at the Boulder Daily Camera in 2019 and is excited for more opportunities. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Buffalo (Sko Buffs!). Now, she is an aspiring journalist based in Denver.

Aingkhu Ashemu

Aingkhu Ashemu

Aingkhu Ashemu is a junior English major studying at Howard University, and currently taking classes at Community College of Denver. An artist and aspiring novelist, Aingkhu currently spends his creative energy writing and producing podcasts, as well as getting involved in intermittent writing projects. In his free time he enjoys reading, journaling, listening to music, and watching K-dramas.

Monty Daniel

Monty Daniel

Monty Daniel is a recent graduate of Colorado State University where she double-majored in journalism and media communication and theater with emphasis in live digital media design. Before becoming a fellow with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, she worked as the music director at 90.5 FM KCSU and was the arts and culture reporter for The Rocky Mountain Collegian. Monty loves journalism because of all the people she meets and the stories she learns from them. When not hunting down another story, she enjoys photography, petting cats and taking care of her plants.

Not What I Had Expected

Sam had asked me on Wednesday, “So, is this what you had expected?” I answered him honestly that this was not what I had expected at all. Two weeks ago I was finishing my last week at KCDO, and I had two and a half weeks of unemployment ahead of me until I begin at my...

A Week to Shape a Story

This project has also helped me gain more confidence in my own personal ability to not only identify a story, but communicate it effectively.

Keeping My Sanity and Passion in Check

I’ve never been more exhausted. At the same time, I’ve also never been more proud of a piece of my work.  This week with Next Generation Radio was something I needed to help me find my place in the world again. Now, I know that sounds a bit intense, but prior to this...

Zain Alexander Iqbal

Zain Alexander Iqbal

Zain Alexander Iqbal is a journalism graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He decided to focus on journalism as a means to explore how society, culture, and humans intersect in an increasingly globalized world after he spent the first part of his career in a variety of communication roles. Previously, Zain served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan, taught English as a second language in Saudi Arabia and worked for several media organizations including MTV in New York and in San Francisco. Born in California and raised for most of his life overseas, Zain spends a lot of his free time on the road with his camera in search of adventure.

Sam Sanson

Sam Sanson

Sam Sanson recently graduated from Colorado College where she majored in film and media studies and minored in journalism. While at CC, she created radio and digital stories for KRCC Public Radio and produced films for various classes, like this one about Colorado camel farmers. Sam realized podcasting combines her passions for digital media and writing while creating a five-part podcast series about toxic PFAS chemicals called Per-sistence. She currently works as a freelance journalist in Boulder, where she produces podcasts for Public Herald and the Journalism Institute of Colorado College. When she isn’t storytelling, Sam enjoys exploring Colorado’s mountains.

Leif Townsend

Leif Townsend

Leif Townsend is a recent graduate of Western Colorado University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and Environment and Sustainability. He has worked as a station manager for KWSB in Colorado while also stage managing in theater and leading a poetry troupe. He hopes to report on the environment, policy, and the communities affected by both.

When Life (Almost) Comes Full Circle

If you were to go back and ask a young, somewhat misdirected undergraduate student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, what he wanted to accomplish in the years ahead of him, he might have said something along the lines of this: “join the Peace...

Seventh Time’s A Charm

Working on my Next Generation Radio project over the last week has been an incredible experience. I have gotten to meet and work with so many amazing people, and they have really made this experience into an unforgettable one. I began this project with high hopes of...

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 Colorado Public Radio in September 2020.


Our audio engineer is Patrice Mondragon and Selena Seay-Reynolds.
Our illustrator is Ard Su and Emily Whang.
Our visuals editors are Erica Lee and Kevin Beaty.
Our web producer is Robert Boos.
Our managing editor is Traci Tong.
Our digital editors are Megan Verlee and Laura Isensee.

Special thanks to our journalist-mentors this week:

  • Taylor Allen
  • Sam Brasch
  • Graham Brewer
  • Ariel Van Cleave
  • Mariana Dale
  • Maggie Freleng

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

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