Jennifer Guerra

Reporter/Producer

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project. She previously covered arts and culture for the station. Before joining Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.

Her stories and documentaries have won numerous regional and national awards (including Clarion, PRNDI and Edward R. Murrow awards) and her work has aired on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace and Studio 360.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan and received her master's degree in broadcast journalism from Fordham University. When she's not on the radio, she and her husband are trying to keep up with their adorable and energetic toddler.

Ways To Connect

In light of yesterday's State of Opportunity story, I thought it might be fun to share this New York Times article where former college freshmen give advice to incoming freshmen. The tips range from academic (where to find the best YouTube math and chemistry tutors), to personal hygiene (when you're stuck, take a shower), to study tips (always make an outline for a paper). What advice would you give to someone about to start college?

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

If you graduated high school in June and college doesn’t start until fall, probably homework is the last thing on your mind during summer. But for some recent high school graduates, the summer before college is filled with homework, study groups and workshops.

That's how Chelsie Thompson's summer is shaping up. Thompson is 18 years old and she insists everyone (including reporters) call her "Phancie." She’s from Melvindale, a small, working-class city just outside Detroit, and she's spending seven weeks of her summer on the campus of the University of Michigan, taking three college courses for credit and learning her way around the university. 

user miss_millions / flickr

If you're 17 and you commit a crime in Michigan, you are automatically sentenced as an adult. You can't even vote yet, and you're sentenced as an adult. There are only nine states that try 17-year olds as adults, and Michigan is one of them. According to The Marshall Project, there seems to be some momentum to "raise the age" of an adult from 17 to 18 in North Carolina, New York and Wisconsin.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

We use the "gap" metaphor a lot. The opportunity gap. The discipline gap. The achievement gap. Well, now we've got another one to add to the list: the adventure gap, where minorities, especially those in inner cities, are much less likely than their white peers to experience the outdoors – especially state and national parks. 

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

It’s summer, so let's head outside!

This week and next week on State of Opportunity, we're going to explore the great outdoors. We'll start at the Hull's Trace unit of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe. It sits right at the mouth of the Huron River and was a key site in the War of 1812.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

There are many stories about how going to war impacts individuals. But what about the impact of overseas service on families? As we continue our series, Beyond the Battlefield, meet a family whose members have fought battles overseas and back home as well.

"No" is not an option

Photo courtesy of the Cortez family

Today’s State of Opportunity story is brought to you by the letter "S," as in study. There’s a new study out that shows Big Bird, Snuffy, Bert and Ernie have a much bigger impact on kids’ lives than just helping them count to ten and learn their ABCs. 

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The Washington Post ran a story this week, highlighting disparities in public education funding and calling it "one of the sleeper civil rights issues of our time."

The article points to two new studies that show how disparities in school funding harm students in poverty and the country as a whole.  Here's an excerpt:

user ValeryKenski / flickr

Who is poor? Who is low-income? It’s a question our team and others who report on issues of poverty grapple with a lot.  

My news editor and I did a quick search of the newsroom's story database from the past two months, and it turns out Michigan Radio reporters and hosts used the term poor on air twice as often as low-income. So I wanted to know: does it matter which term we use to describe people?

Jennifer Guerra / publisher23

I want to give a huge shout-out to all the teachers who took our recent State of Opportunity survey about special-education training. You ROCK! We got a ton of responses and I promise to share some of them with you, but first, a bit of context.

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