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1922-2022 A yearlong celebration marking WKAR's 100th anniversary of service to the mid-Michigan and Spartan communities

Former WKAR Radio interns reflect on experiential learning opportunities at the station

Amanda Pinckney

WKAR is celebrating a century of service in our community. During that time, we’ve had the privilege of providing meaningful experiential learning opportunities to countless interns.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán interned at WKAR in 2017 as the production assistant with Morning Edition. He says what he liked most about working at WKAR was the people he got to work alongside.

“Everyone was kind to me and showed me the importance of producing high quality journalism,” he said.

Today, Martínez-Beltrán is a politics reporter for NPR’s Texas Newsroom.

“Interning at WKAR helped in understanding that there was a place for people like me in public radio,” he added.

Amanda Barberena interned at WKAR during the four years she was a student at Michigan State University. She says she appreciated how willing everyone at the station was in making sure she learned about radio journalism.

“Journalism, writing, social media, whatever it is that goes into making WKAR such a great station,” she added.

Barberena currently works as a marketing specialist for Comcast in Atlanta, Georgia. While it doesn’t sound related to journalism she says she gets to use skills that she learned at WKAR every day at her job.

“Skills like talking to people, interviewing people, preparing questions, which don't seem like incredible skills, but they were to me because I was able to really pivot and talk to anyone in my team, any of my supporting teams, learn really quickly on the job and know what questions to ask,” she said.

McKoy Scribner was an intern at WKAR the summer of 2021. Thanks to a partnership between WKAR and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Scribner spent three months reporting on environmental issues.

“I didn't have a radio background at all. They were just so welcoming with open arms. And everybody was just willing to help out,” he said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scribner’s internship experience was entirely remote, something he says he thought would make it harder to do his job.

“The first day I received loads of messages on potential story ideas and everybody was willing to lend a helping hand,” he said.

When Scribner graduated from Michigan State University in the spring of 2022, he decided to stay in the area to continue growing as a journalist. Today he works as a reporter for WLNS.

Yesenia Zamora-Cardoso interned at WKAR as the ¿Qué Onda Michigan? intern from January to August of 2022.

Before interning at WKAR, Zamora-Cardoso was looking for professional development opportunities that would make up for the lost time during the pandemic.

“Because of the pandemic that hit during my fourth year in college I wasn't able to have any opportunities or experiences to further grow my resume as well as to further grow my skills,” she said. “So when I was given the opportunity to have a fifth year, I really wanted to take that year to gain all those opportunities and experiences that I wasn't able to do.”

Because of her internship, Zamora-Cardoso says she had the opportunity to interview people from different walks of life.

“But also just see different careers and learn about different topics and current events that are affecting Michigan and also the Latinx community in Michigan,” she said.

During her time at WKAR, Zamora-Cardoso produced several episodes for Michigan’s first Spanish-language news podcast.

“What I liked most about WKAR was working with and talking to all types of people. All of the individuals that have had the chance to work with and or talk to have all been extremely helpful and always wanted to make sure that I was having the best internship experience that I possibly could,” she said.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
Did you know that 40% of Michigan third graders have trouble with reading? Join WKAR in our efforts to increase youth literacy. Every donation of $60 or more provides a reading kit to a child in our community, and funds another year of local journalism. Donate today!