The real work on this Next Generation Radio project began on day two. It turned out to be full of very helpful lessons. As I worked to find my source, the hours were passing and many of the phone calls were unsuccessful. No callbacks, tons of voicemails, leads falling through and being passed along to people who could not help.

Just as I began to think I was never going to find someone to speak to me, it happened. I tracked someone down, ultimately via Facebook, who wanted to tell her story—enter Jessica Lamar.

She responded quickly, and that began the roller coaster ride of a story. Jessica lives with seven of her eight children in a 900 square foot house along with her pastor, her pastor’s husband and their four dogs.

Jessica’s kids were a rambunctious group filled with curiosity. They marveled at the audio equipment and instantly struck poses when they saw my camera. They told me about their bikes and scooters and didn’t care that their mother was being interviewed. They wanted her undivided attention, which meant chaos for me.

I was grateful for Jessica’s patience as I stumbled to manage the audio equipment, the photography component of my story and the children circling the two of us in excitement. She was calm and composed, I felt overwhelmed. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. My mentor, LaToya, helped me recognize my missteps as I was out in the field. There were times when Jessica didn’t speak in complete sentences, which would have been detrimental if not caught and times when she urged me to move faster to keep up during the house tour. I was glad to have her support during one of the most chaotic interviews I’ve ever conducted.

Back at Next Gen Headquarters, there were lessons that popped up all week. However,  one of the biggest ones emerged on that fateful second day. That’s the day I learned to just keep searching, as LaToya made me do. In the future, I hope to remember that it’s OK to not find my sources instantly, because the more I dig, the more I may discover.
While there were many obstacles throughout each day, conquering those obstacles was rewarding.
After each success, I was also able to enjoy a victory lap in CapRadio’s garden –the Garden of Peace!