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8-Year-Old's Mission To Help South Sudan, Stephanie Mott On Transgender Issues & Her Journey

Alex Smith

8-Year-Old’s Mission To Help South Sudan
In 2001, when the Lost Boys of Sudan came to the United States, most of the young refugees brought painful memories of war as well as a deep desire to help their home country. Now, over a decade later, many of them have families and children of their own. A former Lost Boy living in Kansas City recently found out that his devotion to Sudan doesn’t end with him. John Akuei was as surprised as anyone when his son decided he wanted to collect school supplies for children in South Sudan.

Stephanie Mott Shares Her Journey And Speaks Out On Transgender Issues
People who are transgender, meaning that they identify with a gender different from their biological one, face a difficult road to self-acceptance. They endure bullying and higher rates of discrimination in housing and the job market.  According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, a startling 41 percent of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide. This statistic is part of the reason why Stephanie Mott, Executive Director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project is so involved in educating the public about transgender issues.

Hay Theft On The Rise In Farm Country
Before this year, rancher Ted Swanson had only been the victim of theft once in his life – he had his bike stolen in Chicago. But Labor Day weekend, Swanson noticed about $5,000 worth of hay missing from his Northern Colorado ranch. It had been sitting in his field near the side of the road.

A Check-In On NBAF
Debate continues over the huge animal disease lab under construction, maybe, in Manhattan, Kansas. Experts say a release of the wildly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease at the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, could cost the livestock industry millions – even billions - of dollars  in damages. Hear an update on the lab’s progress.

One Man’s Walkabout In Kansas
In recent years, urban planners have renewed their focus on creating walkable communities. Walking is the most basic mode of transportation – and yet, in the Kansas City metropolitan area, it’s not as common as in other parts of the country. One local man walks the roads less traveled, across Kansas.

Male Cheerleader Goes Against The Tide In Rural, Ozarks Town
This is a story about following your dreams, even though you might be swimming against the current. Collin Hadley, a senior at Koshkonong High School in south-central Missouri, says he used to be shy, and wasn’t very social. One thing he loved to do was flips.

F-You, I’m From Kansas
In late September, Kansas got an unofficial Facebook page with a tongue in cheek sense of humor and profanity in its name.  The page is called F- You, I’m from Kansas and already has garnered more than 23-thousand likes on Facebook. 

Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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