Out of over 3,300 entries, Ayah Al-Masyabi’s podcast about soccer in America was chosen as one of 13 high school finalists in the NPR contest.
Congratulations to mentee Ayah Al-Masyabi, a high school sophomore from Colorado, whose podcast, Soccer in the US: My Obsession with America’s New Favorite Pastime, was selected as one of just 13 finalists in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge! With over 3,300 entries, this year’s contest was an intensely competitive pool of fantastic audio stories.
Ayah was able to workshop her podcast entry with her core group, a monthly meeting of fellow mentees and mentors at Girls Write Now, before submitting. She also tried out her hand at interviewing and reading her fiction on Speaking In First Draft, Girls Write Now’s inaugural podcast.
Ayah said that while making the podcast was challenging, she was grateful for the support of her mentor, Anne Hellman White.
“Throughout making this podcast, I learned so much about the process of producing a podcast; having direction, making a script, recording, interviewing (my favorite part!), editing and meshing audio, and much, much more. I am a huge fan of many different podcasts, and being able to make my own was special, especially since I was able to make it about soccer, one of my biggest passions. Now being a finalist in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge with a podcast that is about something close to my heart, is an extraordinary feeling.”
Mentor Anne could not be more proud.
“Ayah said to me one day in February, ‘I’d like to enter the NPR Student Podcast Challenge,’ and I said, that’s fantastic! Then she said, ‘And I know which topic I’d like to focus on: how soccer in America has changed over the generations.’ I was blown away. Not only did she have the initiative, she had an excellent topic idea ready to go. Ayah then set out to make her vision a reality, and she worked incredibly hard, which shows in the finished episode she produced. Watching this project unfold has been truly magical.”
Apply to be a mentor or mentee in the Girls Write Now Collaboratory. Deadline is July 10.