Youth Radio Wins Third Coast Award

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From left: Rebecca Martin, Greg Dixion, Noel Anaya (back), Lissa Soep (front), Brett Myers, and Shawn Wen
Noel Anaya with the Radio Impact Award.

We are pleased to share that Noel Anaya’s “Emancipation: A Young Man Leaves Foster Care on His Own Terms” has won the Radio Impact Award at the prestigious Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Competition at this year’s Third Coast International Audio Festival.
Noel’s story was edited by our editorial team and Greg Dixon for NPR’s All Things Considered. Noel brings listeners with him into one last court hearing as he ages out of California’s foster care system. Built on a foundation of deep reporting including culling through twenty years of foster care records, Noel took NPR listeners behind closed doors, revealing what remains out of sight from most Americans. Placed into the system when he was just one years old, Noel was never adopted out. Instead he looped through group homes and temporary placements, seeing nearly every facet of the foster care system first hand.

This piece had a groundswell of public reaction. We received hundreds of emails, calls, and comments from across the world offering help and support for Anaya. Some families suggested adopting him, many others offered financial support for college, and others shared their own troubling experiences with the foster care system. Foster families told of heart-breaking experiences struggling with a complicated and slow-moving system that made adoption difficult or impossible.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist podcast on November 11th.

We couldn’t be prouder of Noel and our team for their work. Please join us in congratulating him on this honor!

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