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Education, Housing and The Pandemic

Written by Myava Mitchell Contributor WETA/PBS Associate to Executive Producer, Thomas Chiodo.


May 24, 2023 / Forbes

2022 Student Journalism Challenge, Brianna Ferguson
Ferguson Family

As we look at the impact on education, post-pandemic, we’ve sought out the student’s point of view. Brianna Ferguson, a senior from Peekskill, NY, shared her experiences as part of the Student Journalism Challenge produced by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and powered by the XQ Institute. This is a student’s story about housing. Brianna shared her story after realizing that she may not be returning to Peekskill High School for her senior year because her family had to find a new place to live.

How has your family been impacted the pandemic?

All across America rent has increased within the past few years at an unstable rate. Working families are struggling to make ends meet with the new rent increase, especially in New York. Residents of Peekskill and the surrounding areas have also been having issues with finding housing, especially apartments, for an affordable price.

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About the Author

Myava Mitchell is an award-winning independent producer and entrepreneurial business leader with over 10 years of experience in television, production, and media.

Her expertise in research, communications, special events, creative, and screenwriting has translated to exceptional results for companies such as BET Networks (Viacom), Darius Films in Los Angeles, and Capital Concerts in Washington, DC. Currently, she serves as an Associate to Executive Producer, Thomas Chiodo, at WETA/PBS.

Myava has an M.F.A. in Film Production and Producing from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism from North Carolina Central University.

The Well Beings Blog is a series that addresses critical topics around the health, mental health, and well-being of America’s youth and adults. The blog launched in 2020 as a companion to the Well Beings Youth Mental Health Project and Ken Burns Presents Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, A Film by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers ( |, which is now streaming on the PBS app. #WellBeings #WellBeingsLive

The current series of articles addresses creativity, resilience, and well-being among America’s youth. It is part of the Student Journalism Challenge produced by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and powered by the XQ Institute. The challenge celebrates young people’s creative expression, encouraging students ages 13-18 to tell their own stories of their communities and their education by contributing printvideo, and audio pieces on the theme, “My Education, My Future.” Submissions were evaluated by a diverse roster of professional journalists.

The Well Beings Blog “Student Journalism Challenge” series features winning articles and honorable mentions in the print category.

Related Series & Films is a mental health resource, not a crisis or suicide response website. If you are in crisis, or experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. The service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.