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Stephanie Daniel

Reporter, American Dream

The “American Dream” was coined in 1931 and since then the phrase has inspired people to work hard and dream big. But is it achievable today? Graduating from college is challenging, jobs are changing, and health care and basic rights can be a luxury. I report on the barriers people face and overcome to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families.

At KUNC, we cover northern Colorado’s diverse communities. For me, that means I get to report on an addiction treatment program on the Eastern Plains one day and a Denver DACA student pursuing his college dream the next. It’s the best part of my job.

I grew up in Colorado and, after living out-of-state for many years, am happy to be back. Before joining KUNC, I worked at New York Public Radio and on the podcasts Revisionist History and Empire on Blood. My reporting has been featured on NPR’s 1A, Latino USA and The Pulse. Prior to my journalism career, I wrote and produced commercials and marketing videos for television networks and media companies.

In 2018, I was selected to be an EWA Reporting Fellow by the Education Writers Association. During the fellowship, I reported and produced a multimedia series “Hire Me: Educating Colorado’s Changing Workforce” which was a finalist for the 2019 Education Writers Association National Awards

My reporting on the opioid epidemic was part of The Fix: Treating New York’s Opioid Crisis. The podcast won a national award from the Association for Health Care Journalists and a Regional Edward R. Murrow award. I have also won awards from the Associated Press, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists

When I’m not working, I love going on adventures and have visited more than 20 countries. I also like to explore local areas, snowboard, ride my bike and hang out with my family and friends.

  • Colorado State University recently opened the Panacea Life Sciences Cannabinoid Research Center which will study the health benefits of cannabinoids on both humans and animals.
  • “Tomorrow Starts Today,” is the slogan for Westminster High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The school offers 13 CTE career pathways that are designed to give students both job training and education to prepare them for future success. This episode features current and former students from the aerospace engineering and cybersecurity classes who want to work in some of Colorado’s fastest growing industries.
  • Westminster, Colorado began as a small farming community when the first settler arrived in 1870. Today, it is the state’s eighth-largest city. Even though it’s part of the sprawling, urban metro Denver area, Westminster has held onto its agricultural roots. There’s still a working farm about three miles from downtown. So it’s not surprising Westminster High School has a robust agriculture program. This episode features the school’s Career and Technical Education agriculture pathway and two students who’ve found success in the urban jungle.
  • One of the biggest barriers to attending and finishing college is money. Yet, most undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Biomedical Science is the most popular Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway at Westminster High School in Westminster, Colorado. Biomedical Innovations is the final of the four year-long classes. Last semester, students studied how dementia affects the brain and created wellness plans to treat these patients. This episode follows three teens who will be first-generation college students. They are using the Biomedical Science and Health Occupations pathways to prepare for college and careers in the medical field.
  • Sundown towns once drove out people of color or prohibited them from living within city limits. This practice started in the late 19th century, but the impact continues today. In Colorado, Chinese immigrants flocked to the state to find gold. They were tolerated in some mining camps and run out of others.
  • Westminster Public Schools is one of the smallest school districts in metro Denver and has only one comprehensive high school. Westminster High School, or Westy as it's fondly called, houses the district's Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. In 2019, the district received a CTE grant from the state which paid for Wolf Bites, a food truck run by culinary students. This episode follows them as they prepare for their first paid catering gig and features a video cinema arts student who helped produce the school's Wolf Bites video documentary.
  • Jobs in Colorado are changing, and now, an increasing number require a college degree or credential. The Colorado Dream: Career Education examines how a small metro Denver school district is playing a greater role in training tomorrow's workforce.
  • Students drop out of college for a variety of reasons. But thanks to a new state law, they could earn an associate degree if they’ve already completed a set number of credits towards a bachelor’s degree. The big sticking point is the large postsecondary attainment gap between whites and several other racial and ethnic groups. This disparity could have long-term economic impacts.
  • The Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges recently announced a $1 million investment from a health care industry leader to help diversify the workforce. The Kaiser Permanente Colorado Equity Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to students from underrepresented communities.