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TPR scholarship recipient says stories encourage 'empathy and compassion'

Susie Barrera, in the TPR studio.
Nathan Cone
Susie Barrera, in the TPR studio.

Susie Barrera studies Radio-TV-Film at San Antonio College, and at age 38, classifies herself as a non-traditional student.

“I am a mother of four, and I’m married to my wonderful husband. And I just want to give them acknowledgement for inspiration and support they give me throughout my education,” she told TPR.

Barrera is the recipient of this year’s Texas Public Radio scholarship, which pays for a full year of tuition for a student in the Radio-TV-Film department at San Antonio College.

The funds, Barrera explained, have helped her by supplementing some of the costs of being in the program.

“You need equipment that’s up to par, with being able to edit and perform to a certain degree. [The money] has helped me buy some of that equipment. It’s really helped me.”

Susie Barrera on a visit to TPR in March, 2023.
Susie Barrera on a visit to TPR in March, 2023.

Barrera’s favorite programs and segments on TPR include “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” “Hidden Brain,” and NPR’s regular “Unsung Hero” segment, showcasing people whose kindness made a lasting impression.

“I love the way that stories can make people feel empathy and compassion,” Barrera said. “I think that’s a connection… that we might be able to nurture in order to bring about change in the world.”

“There’s so many things I am eager to learn and be aware of,” she continued. “I like fighting for fairness and social justice. That’s one of my passions. I hope to be able to continue in that direction.”

Barrera plans to continue her education after San Antonio College by earning a bachelor’s degree, and one day start her own production company.

Congratulations, Susie Barrera!