Maureen Pao | Texas Public Radio

Maureen Pao

Maureen Pao is an editor, producer and reporter on NPR's Digital News team. In her current role, she is lead digital editor and producer for All Things Considered. Her primary responsibility is coordinating, producing and editing high-impact online components for complex, multipart show projects and host field reporting.

She also identifies and reports original stories for online, on-air and social platforms, on subjects ranging from childhood vaccinations during the pandemic, baby boxes and the high cost of childcare to Peppa Pig in China and the Underground Railroad in Maryland. Most memorable interview? No question: a one-on-one conversation with Dolly Parton.

In early 2020, Pao spent three months reporting local news at member station WAMU as part of an NPR exchange program. In 2014, she was chosen to participate in the East-West Center's Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowship program, during which she reported stories from Taiwan and Singapore.

Previously, she served as the first dedicated digital producer for international news at NPR.

Before coming to NPR, Pao worked as a travel editor at USA TODAY and as a reporter and editor in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

She's a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned a master's in journalism from the University of Michigan. Originally from South Carolina, she can drawl on command and talk about dumplings all day. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

When Maisha Watson heard about baby boxes, her first reaction was: "Why would I want to put my baby in a box?"

She was talking with Marcia Virgil — "Miss Marcia" to her clients — a family support worker with the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

Giving new moms face-to-face education about safe sleep practices — and providing them with a cardboard "baby box" where their newborns can sleep right when they get home — reduces the incidence of bed sharing, a significant risk factor for SIDS and other unexpected sleep-related deaths, a study from Temple University in Philadelphia has found.

For Jernica Quiñones, the reality of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, hit close to home this year when a friend woke up on New Year's Day and discovered the lifeless body of her baby girl.

That's why Quiñones' 4-month-old son, Bless'n, has spent a lot of his life so far sleeping in a cardboard box.

The 33-year-old mother of five took part in a program in New Jersey that promotes safe sleep education through the distribution of "baby boxes" that double as bassinets.

Being a parent is hard, even if you have a partner and a steady income (or two). Now, imagine doing that job solo.

It's a trend that's risen steadily in the past few decades. In 1968, 85 percent of children were raised in two-parent families, according to U.S. Census data. By 2015, the share of U.S. kids in families with one parent had more than doubled, to 27 percent.

Life is pretty busy for Mike Buchmann, a high school art teacher and football coach, and his wife Shannon, who works as an assistant controller at a small private college near their home in Mishawaka, Ind.

Everyone is out the door by 7:45 each morning: Mike shuttles their two older kids to before-school care, while Shannon drops off their 14-month-old at a church-based child care center before they head off to their full-time jobs.

Half a century ago this summer, labor activist Cesar Chavez joined thousands of striking farmworkers in Texas as they converged on Austin, the state capital, to demand fair wages and humane working conditions.

Their march, which started from the punishing melon fields of South Texas, was his march, too. It was a deep and abiding understanding of the challenges of the farmworker's life that drove his commitment to labor rights. The life of Cesar Chavez mirrored that of the people he was trying to help. Their cause — La Causa — was his.

Good news for "mean" moms and dads out there: Nearly 8 out of 10 kids say they think discipline helps them behave better, a survey by children's magazine Highlights has found. And 60 percent give participation trophies — derided by some as a reward for just showing up — a thumbs up.

When Pope Francis meets with American bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, seminarian Stefan Megyery will participate in the midday prayer service.

He can hardly contain his excitement.

"How often do you get the chance to meet the pope?" Megyery says.

The images continue to haunt: storm surge from Hurricane Katrina pouring through gaps in failed flood walls, rapidly rising waters, desperate New Orleanians trapped on rooftops.

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