Yumi Araki: What VOICES Did For Me

Photo by Victor Jeffreys II of Gawker

Photo by Victor Jeffreys II

How did AAJA VOICES shape your path? The AAJA VOICES program has not only shaped my path professionally through the editors with whom I keep in touch, but it has also enriched my friendship network of fellow VOICES colleagues who all provide support and inspiration. One example has been with Davey Kim, a fellow VOICES reporter who is now interning with NPR in Washington, D.C. It was amazing to catch up with him and track his progress as a rising radio star!

What can you do today that you wouldn’t be able to do without having been in VOICES? As an undergraduate, I studied magazine writing, which meant that I became used to writing longer pieces with longer deadlines. Our stories for VOICES, however, were produced on a daily news timeframe, which challenged me to brush up on quick, yet accurate reporting and writing. My interview with New York Congressman Charles Rangel for VOICES was also the first time I had interviewed a politician face-to-face. Without those experiences, I would have had a particularly difficult time reporting out my Medicaid expansion story at Columbia.

Name: Yumi Araki

VOICES year and role: 2013, New York, student

Current position: Masters candidate studying political journalism at Columbia University, writing about how the Affordable Care Act’s provision on Medicaid expansion is affecting every day Americans.

Want to be the next Yumi Araki? Apply now for the 2014 VOICES program!