Sarah Alvarez

Public Insight Journalist

Sarah is a reporter and producer for the State of Opportunity Project.

Sarah's job is to get readers, listeners and communities participating in reporting. She's also the founder of State of Opportunity's Infowire project. 

Before her work at Michigan Radio, Sarah was a civil rights lawyer in New York and a consultant to social justice organizations in California. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

She has a wonderful husband and three wonderful, busy kids and no time for anything else.

Ways To Connect

Sarah Alvarez

This is part of a special collaboration between Bridge Magazine and Infowire. Read their report here.

Washington Post

Jennifer Guerra and Dustin Dwyer are both working on stories about low income kids and college. 

Thomas Galvez / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. This is a quick Infowire for anybody interested in going to college next year, because you've got a deadline coming up.

Brendan Biele

It's been a while since the State of Opportunity storytelling booth has been on a trip out of the office. Frankly, it's time.

The story booth is a mobile recording setup that a State of Opportunity reporter can bring out to a small group of people who have stories or information to share. 

San Jose Library / flickr

We are thankful for our State of Opportunity community and hope you all enjoy some time with family or friends over the next few days. We will see you again on Monday.

Michael Coglan / flickr

I can add little of value in the midst of the seismic event of national importance that is Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting. These events weigh heavily, even from my geographically and experientially removed position. 

My colleagues Dustin Dwyer, Jennifer Guerra, and to a lesser extent, I, have been reporting on the combustible issues of race, poverty, violence, and opportunity. 

The following is a digest of some of these pieces.

publik16 / flickr

In 1978, a group of teenagers in Wayne County beat, stabbed, and killed another young person named Dennis Rhodes in order to steal his bike. 

One of those young people, Jeffrey Dunbar, was tried and sentenced as an adult. Dunbar was sentenced to life without parole. 

This decision is only one year younger than I am. It seems utterly unremarkable in its treatment of a juvenile as an adult.

Patrick M / flickr

The Department of Human Services Office in rural Van Buren County is pretty indistinct. There's a waiting room with a toddler crying. Through double doors and down the hall there is a sea of cubicles. Rows and rows of them where case workers take calls. It’s a big operation, some would say a big bureaucracy that exists, at least in part, to do right by kids like Durwin.

He introduces himself like this, "I'm just a foster youth."

vicki watkins / flickr

We've recently spent a lot of time here at State of Opportunity focusing on foster care. If you missed Jennifer Guerra's documentary Finding Home, set aside some time to listen.

Nadine Burke Harris

State of Opportunity will air a documentary on foster care on Thursday, October 30th. In the lead up to Thursday we're publishing a series of articles that explore specific aspects of the foster care system or challenges kids within that system face.

America is in the middle of a collective, and scientifically supported, epiphany about just how much early childhood experiences matter to outcomes later in life.