Highlighting voices in the midst of a pandemic
The Tell My Story Podcast
By Youth Advisory Board Member, Haleema Ahmed
When the pandemic commenced in mid-March, I felt a deep sense of inadequacy. Medics risked their lives for COVID-19 patients, government and public health officials worked tirelessly to provide guidelines, and retail/grocery store workers ensured access to basic supplies, whilst I lacked the age or experiences to be a front-liner.
Being grateful for the arduous work of frontline workers alongside the difficult conditions they have to endure, inspired my commitment to Impact Without Contact, an organization that aims to connect youth to remote volunteer opportunities, support local businesses, organizations, and hospitals, and highlight youth voice.
Tell My Story is a podcast I formulated as Public Health Director of IWC. It aims to capture COVID-19 experiences from all parts of the community – healthcare workers, parents, students, grocery store clerks, professors, law enforcement, the list is endless. After realizing the large void in media coverage and appreciation for many front line workers beyond ICU doctors and nurses, I was hopeful that by hearing from them firsthand, more recognition would develop.
Our team of writers, editors, and outreach directors have featured nurse practitioner Carol on the podcast, who discussed the difficulties of communicating with severely ill elderly patients and how she uses prayer to soothe their concerns. We held an episode with Ms. Scholl, a high-school English teacher, about student and teacher mental health, and her opinions on back to school plans. We have spoken with a flight attendant, the CEO of Conquer COVID-19 and we aim to continue speaking with a teenage grocery worker, homeless shelters employees, and more – so many are fundamental to the fight against the pandemic, we just don’t know about them yet!
To start an initiative in your community, you don’t need a million dollars or the newest technology. Our podcast consists of recorded zoom calls and editing and promoting using free software available online.
You simply need the following:
- An issue – what is your initiative solving? Why is this issue important?
- A system – what steps will you take to solve this issue?
- A team – group members, technology, or an audience are all essential factors in producing a campaign
- Accountability – how will you ensure your initiative is working? Will you utilize feedback or look at the data?