First Days In America

This series explores the memories of six Reno community members of their entry into the United States. They come from vastly different backgrounds. These stories were produced by students at the Reynolds School of Journalism for NPR's Next Generation Radio Program. Reno Public Radio is a proud partner for that training program.

First Days In America: Basketball Coach Dimitrios Kyriakou

Jul 12, 2019
Illustrated by Yunji Dai
Illustrated by Yunji Dai

Dimitrios Kyriakou had a successful career coaching professional basketball in Greece, but he always dreamed of coaching in the United States. It was a dream that, ultimately, didn’t work out. Today, we share his story as part of our series called “First Days In America.”

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano
Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

Danell Wilson-Perlman brings female entrepreneurs back to her home country of South Africa for an immersion program that connects them with other female leaders they can learn from. She lives in Reno now and remembers her arrival to the U.S. for our series “First Days in America.”

First Days In America: Casino Exec. Karen Goforth

Jul 11, 2019
Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano
Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

Wanting to explore and see the world in her early twenties, Karen Goforth came to the United States from Melbourne, Australia about 40 years ago. When she arrived, she discovered more opportunities for women in the states. Today, she tells us her story for our series, “First Days in America.”

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano
Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

Sparks resident Adriana Marin-Herrera was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to the United States when she was 16. It was not an easy transition, but support from her high school science teacher helped. She shares the details for our series called “First Days In America.”

Illustrated by Yunji Dai

Mohammad Reza Sadrian is a PhD student at the University of Nevada, Reno who studies Atmospheric Sciences. Even though Sadrian has an F-1 visa, which allows full-time international students to enter the U.S., he said it’s too risky for him to return home to Iran to visit him mother. In today’s story, Sadrian shares his experience entering the county for our series “First Days in America.”

This week, KUNR is airing a series called “First Days in America.” Today, we hear from Alma Del Rio. She’s an interpreter at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where she works with a growing population of Spanish-speaking patients. She begins her story with an early childhood memory.

First Days In America: Driving Like An American

Jul 1, 2017
Perla Gomez-Silva

Alejandro Lugo is adapting to driving in the U.S. In his hometown of San Salvador, he says he’s used to getting away with things.

“People don’t follow stop signs, they don’t respect red lights, they don’t respect anything,” he says.

In El Salvador, Lugo explains, he didn’t trust the police. So, he didn’t stop if a policeman tried to pull him over.

“In my country, you’d be scared to pull over for a cop because you’re not sure if they’re actually policemen or thieves,” he says. “You would rather be considered a delinquent and not stop than to get shot.”

Holly Hutchings

Emma Sepulveda entered the United States after fleeing the 1973 military coup in Chile. Decades later, she directs the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Student reporter Holly Hutchings recently spoke to her for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Program about her first days in America. 

First Days In America: Run and Don’t Look Back!

Jul 1, 2017
Jacob Solis

When Manuel Mederos crossed the Mexican border into the US, he watched his sister being picked up by border patrol and spent the next day wondering if he would see her again. Mederos recently spoke to student reporter Jacob Solis for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Program about his first days in America. Let's take a listen.  

Manuel Mederos was 11 when it happened. He was told to run, and run fast. He was confused and afraid, but the smuggler, the coyote, was very clear: don’t look back.

Joey Lovato

Emanuele Ziaco used to live in an Italian city older than the Bible, but in 2012 he moved to Reno to study trees.