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This series follows charismatic young adults as they pile in to a big green RV and cross the country to interview entrepreneurs and community leaders about how they got in touch with their passion and created their road in life. This is only one aspect of its ever-expanding, multi-platform plan to lower the nation's dropout rates.
Roadtrip Nation Previous Broadcasts
In-Studio Interviews: Mike Song and Paul Dateh (Episode #908H)
KQED World: Mon, May 23, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Alumni Roadtrippers Ray, Hannah and Mariana interview Mike Song, Assistant Choreographer for the film Step Up Revolution, and Paul Dateh, a Hip-Hop Violinist and Youtube Sensation. Audience members learn about the struggle Paul faced in pursuing his life dream, and how he overcame 'The Noise' of doubt directed at him from others. Paul gives the audience a performance of his work before handing the stage off to Mike Song. Addressing his own struggle with "The Noise," Mike shares the roadblocks he's faced, and provides a unique perspective on staying true to his path. The two guests join series director Maya to present a combined music and dance performance.
No More What If's (Episode #1005H)
KQED Life: Sun, May 22, 2016 -- 1:00 PM
Leaving Houston, the team takes a brief hiatus from interviews with a 2-day drive to Chicago that allows them to reflect on the experience thus far. Once in the Windy City, they find themselves speaking with Zach Kaplan, the CEO and Co-founder of Inventables, a company that connects product developers with novel materials. Zach recounts the many rejections he's been dealt over the years, emphasizing perseverance in the face of challenge. Next, the team heads to Chicagoland Skydive to meet with skydiving instructor Ward Hessig. Once a policeman on track to becoming a lawyer, Ward discusses the fortuitous turn of events that led to his shift in paths. After their chat, the Roadtrippers nervously prepare for a skydive, but are ultimately able to let go of trepidation by following Ward's advice to 'push through fear and embrace the reward.'
In-Studio Interview: Veronica Belmont (Episode #907H)
KQED World: Fri, May 20, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Past Roadtrippers Mariana and Hannah join RTN staffer Jason on the Roadtrip Nation Winnebago stage to interview Veronica Belmont, Gamer and Host of Tekzilla, a technology news podcast. The audience hears about Veronica's love for technology and the moment of serendipity that led her from humble beginnings to internet fame. Veronica urges the audience to "Think big," and fields questions from her fans about gaming, technology, and the Road she's paved to arrive at a meaningful job. The show finishes with Veronica playing a game of "Mario Kart" against members of the audience.
In-Studio Interviews: David Bader and Milena Acosta (Episode #906H)
KQED World: Thu, May 19, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
For the first time ever, this season includes three in-studio episodes filmed at Roadtrip Nation headquarters. Using a transformed 1972 Winnebago as a stage in front of a live audience, Alumni Roadtrippers Ray, Mariana, and Hannah interview David Bader, Director of Education at the Aquarium of the Pacific, and Milena Acosta, Education Outreach Supervisor at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The audience gains insight into each guest's path, including how David followed his childhood passion to his current position, and how Milena's choice of "love over career" has led to a fulfilling destination. The guests then present a few interesting artifacts from the museum.
Los Angeles (Episode #905H)
KQED World: Wed, May 18, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
After traveling more than 4500 miles in 30 days, the Roadtrippers book a last-minute interview with Randii Wessen, an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Los Angeles. Randii shares his story of constant determination-wisdom that resonates with Nekeed. The Roadtrip ends with an interview with Laura Danly, curator at the Griffith Observatory. Laura tells her story of arduous schooling to land a job as a NASA astronomer-only to realize that she's happiest when she shares her astronomical knowledge with others. Ending their journey with a better sense of themselves and their futures, the team gives their final reflections and says their goodbyes.
St. Louis - Bay Area (Episode #904H)
KQED World: Tue, May 17, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
While in St. Louis, the team lets their imaginations run free at the City Museum, an architectural marvel and playground made out of found objects from the city. Afterward, they sit down with founder and creator Bob Cassilly to learn what inspired him. In Idaho, they speak with sought-after expedition photographer Jimmy Chin, who opens up about his fears of failing and the dangers of extreme missions. "Fear is healthy," he reminds the Roadtrippers.
Philadelphia - Chicago (Episode #903H)
KQED World: Mon, May 16, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Arriving in Philadelphia, the team meets with Rosemarie Certo, the owner of Dock Street Brewing Co., where they get a taste of her award-winning beer and her passion for the craft. Next, they travel to Chicago to speak with Grammy Award-winning children's folk singer Ella Jenkins, who teaches the Roadtrippers a song. The team also meets with Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr-a happy-go-lucky couple that expresses their love for filmmaking by helping students through affordable film and media arts classes.
Don't Feel Trapped (Episode #1004H)
KQED Life: Sun, May 15, 2016 -- 1:00 PM
In Texas, the Roadtrippers head to the Texas Instruments headquarters to meet Process Integration Engineer Byron Williams. Byron shares his struggle with self-doubt that almost stopped him from pursuing a career in science, and encourages the Roadtrippers to re-frame challenge as a motivator. Later, the crew heads to the ATT Foundry to speak with Senior Marketing Manager Tracy Parrish. Tracy discusses her switch from engineering to teaching, and helps Megan overcome her anxiety about teaching STEM subjects. The team ends the week at the National Space Biomedical Research Facility in Houston. There, Deputy Chief Scientist Dorit Donoviel discusses the courage it took to leave a comfortable job and try a new field. She encourages the team to never be afraid of venturing in new directions if they start to feel stagnant.
Boston - New York City (Episode #902H)
KQED World: Fri, May 13, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The team lands at the doorstep of the MIT Media Lab, where they speak with a graduate assistant in the robotics department. Next, they talk with two women who created sOccket, a soccer ball that generates electricity, and the co-founder of Bamboo Bike Studio. The Roadtrippers also stop at the USA Shaolin Temple in New York City, where they meet founder Shi Yan Ming who is known for his super-human abilities-such as breaking rocks with his skull. They end the week meeting with Nat Paynter, director of water programs at Charity Water.
Portland - Cambridge (Episode #901H)
KQED World: Thu, May 12, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
A new team of Roadtrippers shares a desire to search for something bigger in life. Brooklyn, a self-proclaimed dreamer who left an unfulfilling job in New York City to move back in with her parents and eight siblings, hopes this Roadtrip will "jumpstart" her life. Elliott, a former high school English teacher, gets out of the classroom to explore a life around education, community and creativity. Nekeed escaped a rough childhood in Yonkers, N.Y., where he lost a brother to gang violence. Now, as the first male in his family to graduate college, Nekeed wants to define his next steps in life. At the New Skete monastery in New York, they interview Brother Stavros, co-founder of the monastery; he also works with its famous German Shepherd breeding program.
Atlanta, GA / Outer Banks, NC (Episode #812H)
KQED World: Wed, May 11, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
In Atlanta, GA, wrapping up their last series of interviews, the Roadtrippers meet the first all-female, all-African American flight crew to operate a commercial jet in the US to learn how they got to where they are. Then the team talks with Penny Brown Reynolds, a judge and ordained minister, where they are energized by her story of perseverance and determination. Afterward, the friends travel to Outer Banks, NC, where they share their final thoughts on what they learned about themselves and their futures before ending their journey of self-discovery together.
Seattle, WA / Santa Fe, NM (Episode #810H)
KQED World: Mon, May 9, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
While in Seattle, WA, the team connects with Miss Indigo Blue, a renowned burlesque instructor and performer, and discovers why she decided to take up the bold art form. Her story particularly intrigues Carolyn who finds Miss Indigo Blue's confidence and fearlessness desirable. In Santa Fe, NM, the Roadtrippers link up with Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, co-founders of Bioneers, an organization that brings scientific innovators together to promote social and environmental change. Their story of risk-taking resonates with Sarah who realizes that maybe she "doesn't have to play it so safe."
The Power of Serendipity (Episode #1003H)
KQED Life: Sun, May 8, 2016 -- 1:00 PM
Outside of San Francisco, the team arrives at the Jelly Belly factory to meet with Elise Benstein, a food scientist who develops new Jelly Belly flavors. Elise encourages the Roadtrippers to be open to unplanned opportunity; after all, she never would have thought her job would consist of making Root Beer-flavored candy, but she loves it. From California, the crew winds east to Arizona, where they meet with Deon Clark, a nuclear engineer. Deon joined the navy as a teenager to escape the drugs and violence of his neighborhood, and stresses the importance of rejecting peer pressure. Moving onto New Mexico, the team meets two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek, whose non-linear life experiences teach the Roadtrippers to embrace serendipity.
San Francisco (Episode #809H)
KQED World: Fri, May 6, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Meet team Here, There, Everywhere-Denise, Carolyn, and Sarah-and follow their six-week cross-country journey as they search to learn more about themselves and their futures. Denise, a hair stylist, wants to break out and explore what the world has to offer. Carolyn left her steady job at an advertising agency to find out how she can use her skills for more humanitarian causes, while Sarah, who wants to do something creative, is still learning to not let fear hold her back from trying new things. Traveling to San Francisco, CA, the team meets Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea Lounge, and then hears powerful words from poets at Youth Speaks who encourage them to listen to their hearts.
New York City / Atlanta, GA (Episode #808H)
KQED World: Thu, May 5, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
It's the last week of the team's six-week Roadtrip-and also Hannah and Antoine's first time in New York City. While there, they meet up with MMA (Mixed Marital Arts) reporter Ariel Helwani who talks about his beginnings as a shy kid to becoming one of the most notable MMA sports reporters in the world. At the end of their conversation, he stresses to the team, "don't give up on your dreams." Antoine, Hannah, and Nika then move on to their last interview at the CNN headquarters where they meet with anchor Soledad O'Brien who talks about the hard work it takes to follow a dream. Afterward, the team reflects on the events of the trip and the people they met before signing the Green RV and saying their goodbyes.
Washington, DC / New York City (Episode #807H)
KQED World: Wed, May 4, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
While in Washington, DC, the Roadtrippers head over to the International Child Art Foundation's headquarters to meet with its founder, Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq. He tells them about the importance of nurturing creativity in young minds. Then the team moves on to the popular DC-based restaurant Busboys and Poets to speak with its owner, Andy Shallal. The Roadtrippers hear about learning from failures, and they leave feeling uplifted. From there, they fly back to Chicago to pick up the Green RV from the mechanic to hit the road to New York. In New York City, they meet with dance legend Judith Jamison and catch a performance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Central Park.
Chicago, IL / Washington, DC (Episode #806H)
KQED World: Tue, May 3, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
While in Chicago, the team encounters a roadblock - the Green RV's transmission breaks. After leaving the RV at a mechanic, the Roadtrippers meet up with Food Network host and chef Gale Gand who greets them with home-baked muffins. Gale tells the team about her life of traveling, working in France, and meeting Julia Child. Afterward, the Roadtrippers meet with Alex Ross, a comic book artist who tells them about his incredible luck in his career, but stresses that anyone can do anything they want-they just have to put in the effort. Afterward, the team hears bad news: the RV won't be fixed in time for their next interviews. So, they decide to book flights to their next stop in Washington, DC, despite that Antoine has never been on a plane before.
Albuquerque, NM / Chicago, IL (Episode #805H)
KQED World: Mon, May 2, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The Roadtrippers are in Albuquerque, NM, salvaging what they can from their burnt Green RV-the aftermath of a mechanical fire that caused the vehicle to burn down. After they decide that they want to continue their Roadtrip, a few of the Roadtrip Nation staff arrive and they're given a new Green RV named "Norm." Moving onward to Atlanta, Ga., they speak with notable portrait artist Ross R. Rossin. Next, in Chicago, Ill., they meet with entrepreneur and famed business executive Alana Ward Robinson. The Roadtrippers hear her story of struggle as an African-American female trying to make it in the burgeoning (and mainly white male) tech industry.