Change is the only constant for most journalists, and Chavez is a good example. Trained in magazine writing, she took to daily newspapers and eventually landed at The Dallas Morning News. Her series, “Yolanda’s Crossing,” about a sexual-abuse victim traveling 5,000 miles from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Dallas won her the Livingston Award. After getting laid off, she left journalism for a couple of years and worked for the Department of Health and Human Services. When public radio station KERA offered her a return, she took it and has reported on last year’s ambush of five Dallas police officers, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Dallas and produced the series, “Generation One” detailing the experiences of immigrant students in North Texas. Chavez will share her story, her storytelling and offer an example of how journalists must adapt to survive.
Stella M. Chávez is a reporter at KERA, the NPR affiliate in Dallas. She covers mostly education but has also contributed to coverage of major news stories such as the shooting deaths of five police officers in downtown Dallas, the Ebola case in Dallas and the migration of unaccompanied minors to Texas. In 2014, she wrote and produced an eight-part series called Generation One on the experience of immigrant students in North Texas schools.
Prior to joining public radio, Stella spent nearly 13 years as a reporter for daily newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida.
She’s won several state and national awards, including the 2007 Livingston Award for Young Journalists in National Reporting, which honors outstanding reporting by journalists under the age of 35. The award-winning entry was “Yolanda’s Crossing,” a seven-part series she co-authored that reconstructs the 5,000-mile journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim from a small Oaxacan village to Dallas.
For that report, she also received the Dart Award for Excellence in Reporting on Victims of Violence, the APME International Perspective Award and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Print Feature and Online awards.