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Reader Radio — Omaha Girls Rock: Musicians With Ambition Podcast

Published in The Reader

Alums and volunteers remember where it all started: a shadowy classroom tucked in the back corner of one of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s empty halls. The group was smaller in 2011, with only 20 girls, some eight years old, others about to graduate high school. Volunteers doubled as band coaches, instrument instructors and sandwich makers, cutting ham and cheeses before packing them into lunch sacks. After five days of drum beats, guitar noodling and vocal runs, the campers took the Slowdown stage, surprising themselves and the audience with their creativity and ability.

Fast forward 11 years to the summer of 2022 and the scene is remarkably different. Instead of a drafty classroom, 30-plus campers mill about the Holland Performing Arts Center’s recital hall. Volunteers straighten instruments in their instruction studios while others organize materials for the day’s workshops. While the homemade sandwiches were made with care, local non-profit Omaha Girls Rock now enjoys catered lasagna and walking tacos for lunch. But other things haven’t changed.

HELLO,
MY NAME IS ISA.

I'VE NEVER BEEN AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.

Which is why writing has always been my preferred activity. After taking an introduction to journalism class as a 14-year-old in high school, I was hooked. With a background in social activism and a passion for writing, I found a forever home in journalism.

I've always wanted to create space for others. The clichéd phrase, "speak for others" was once seen as noble, however, is extremely assuming. No writer or orator has the same experience as another person, so how can an individual truly "speak for them?" Creating space is a more positive and proactive alternative. As a Cuban American woman, journalism has been my way to shine a light on issues in my community while also creating a platform for unique voices.

Enjoy exploring my work.