KCRW’s Volunteer of the Month – Leila Miller

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Leila Miller came to volunteer in KCRW’s news department during the summer before her senior year at college. She jumped right into the job of helping out on All Things Considered. Whatever needed to be done, she was eager to learn how to do. She also produced her first feature story ever, about a proposed housing development in Atwater Park and the equestrian community that opposes it. She’s a sharp writer and a motivated young journalist, and we’re so glad she spent the summer with KCRW!

Where did you grow up and do you have any siblings?
I grew up in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles and have a 17 year old brother.

What 5 things would you wish you had if you were stranded on a deserted island?
A friend, a suitcase full of books, a camera, a box of flares, and lots of sunscreen (if it’s an island in the tropics).

What is your current occupation?
I am a senior at Oberlin College exploring my next steps.

What is your fantasy occupation?
A journalist in charge of a South American bureau. Or a professional figure skater.

When did you first discover KCRW?
I first came into contact with the station though a KCRW mug my mom had. And now I have one of my own!

How did you find your way to our station for volunteering?
I had already interned at several newspapers — I worked at the Miami Herald for my school’s Winter Term last December and at the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles the previous year. I really wanted to learn radio skills, so I contacted KCRW.

What’s your current volunteer position and how long have you been at it?
I helped with the news production for All Things Considered for 10 weeks.

Favorite volunteer moment?
I have three! Practicing recording my voice in the studio with Avishay for about 40 minutes for a four and a half minute piece; hearing my first feature on the radio; and when everyone in the office took time to give me advice on whether it’s worth it to go to journalism school on my last day at KCRW.

If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on the air, what would it be?
“Reporting for KCRW from — insert South American country — this is Leila Miller.”

What song(s) have you hit repeat on lately?
Superman by Five for Fighting. It Don’t Have to Change by John Legend.

Favorite book, movie
The Way Way Back, a really good find on Netflix. And The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

Favorite thing to do outside the station ?
Ice skating, traveling with friends, trying out backpacking for a short amount of time, playing the piano, chatting with people from different countries and cultures, speaking Spanish, being in Buenos Aires for the soccer World Cup.

What does KCRW mean to you?
It’s a place that got me excited about radio and left me eager to learn a lot more. I learned how to handle a tape recorder and mic, write and mix Billboards, put together my own feature, and found that speaking articulately while sounding enthusiastic is a skill that takes practice. KCRW is a crowded room buzzing with energy from journalists and radio lovers, always available to patiently explain something to newcomers and make them feel welcome.

Leila’s got the right blend of practical and whimsical and we are happy she’s spent her summer down here in our humble studio. We wish her all the world on the next step of her journey! I have a feeling this won’t be the last we’ll hear of her in the news world…