During my MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College, I was selected as one of two Community Engagement fellows. The three projects I executed as part of that fellowship focused on immigration and youth—which, because of my occasionally lachrymose ways, some waggish friends began calling the #immigranttears series.
For this project, which was the third of three, I served as assistant producer for a student radio documentary that aired on San Francisco NPR affiliate KALW. It was called Waking Up From the American Dream (link to first half of the doc).
The series explored the nuances of immigration and the vastly different attitudes people have towards the country they now call home. Along with the brilliant Sandhya Dirks, I helped workshop pitches, found characters and speakers for our documentary class, edited scripts, and overall got quite an education in production assistance.
My story was on an unaccompanied refugee minor named Noor: a young Iraqi wrestler-poet who was part of a fight to force the state of California to do right by the youth they agreed to resettle.
And yes, I cried.