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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
Portland - Cambridge (Episode #901H)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 27, 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: Tue, Jul 26, 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.
Oklahoma / Texas / Louisiana (Episode #811H)
KQED World: Mon, Jul 25, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
At the University of Oklahoma, the team meets Mike Biggerstaff, a professor of meteorology, where they learn what it is about weather that lights him up. Moving on to Houston, TX, they visit Jennifer Arnold, a 3-foot, 2-inch-tall doctor and star of the reality series, The Little Couple, where they hear her story of overcoming personal obstacles to realize her dreams. Finally, in New Orleans, LA, the team talks with Charline Gipson, a corporate lawyer, and discovers what 'success' means to her and the steps she took to achieve it. Charline's story of taking her own path despite others' disapproval inspires Denise who realizes she can do the same in life.
Be Well-Rounded (Episode #1007H)
KQED Life: Sun, Jul 24, 2016 -- 1:00 PM
In New York City, the team meets with Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, who was able to combine her interests in writing, science, and art into a meaningful career. Mariette urges the Roadtrippers to incorporate their passions into their work - even if they face criticism from others. Moving north, the Roadtrippers arrange a visit with Vicki Smith, a game designer at Vicarious Visions. Vicki shares her circuitous route to game design, explaining that she initially abandoned her own dreams in favor of following her parents' expectations. In offering advice to the Roadtrippers, she stresses the importance of being well-rounded, and educating oneself in a wide range of disciplines - even if they don't particularly interest you. That way, you have an arsenal of knowledge to inform the work you do.
Seattle, WA / Santa Fe, NM (Episode #810H)
KQED World: Fri, Jul 22, 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."
San Francisco (Episode #809H)
KQED World: Thu, Jul 21, 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: Wed, Jul 20, 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: Tue, Jul 19, 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: Mon, Jul 18, 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.
Tempe, AZ / Albuquerque, NM (Episode #804H)
KQED World: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The Roadtrippers start out in Tempe, AZ, where they speak with Todd McFarlane, the creator of the best-selling comic book series Spawn, and Antoine's personal hero. The team is given encouraging advice by Todd to move away from the idea that they "need to have everything now." Next, the team heads to Albuquerque, NM, where they meet with lobbyist and co-founder of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Tom Rutherford. Afterward, as they head back on the Road, an unfortunate event happens-an unexpected mechanical issue leads the Green RV to catch fire. The Roadtrippers pull over and no one is seriously injured; but emotions are high as the stark realization sets in as to whether they'll be able to continue their journey.
Las Vegas, Phoenix (Episode #803H)
KQED World: Wed, Jul 13, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
After arriving in Las Vegas, NV, the Roadtrippers meet up with Rex Doty, a toy maker that creates toys for children in need, who inspires the team through his passion for giving. Next, the team heads to the restaurant Rick Moonen's rm Seafood to speak with none other than its charismatic chef and owner, Rick Moonen. Afterward, the team gets back on the road where - after taking in the picturesque scenery at the Grand Canyon - they head to Phoenix, AZ., to speak with Larry Colbert, a blind motivational speaker and author. The Roadtrippers hear Larry's moving story of overcoming obstacles to do what made him happy, despite others not believing in him.
Los Angeles, Part 2 (Episode #802H)
KQED World: Tue, Jul 12, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
In Los Angeles, Calif., the Roadtrippers make their way to Amoeba Music, one of the largest indie record stores in the US, to meet co-owner Karen Pearson. Next, the team speaks with Joe Rogan, a stand-up comedian, who tells them to do what you do because you love it, not for money. Just as the Roadtrippers are leaving their interview, they snag an impromptu and unexpectedly musical interview with actor Craig Robinson. Playing the piano and in a sing-songy voice, the actor of the The Office empowers Nika to not be afraid to pursue her dream as a performing artist.
Los Angeles (Episode #801H)
KQED World: Mon, Jul 11, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Meet Antoine, Hannah, and Nika of team Crazy, Babbling, Sunshine. Antoine has never left Southern California, but feels that he's ready to get out and explore. Hannah left her job as a weather broadcaster in South Korea to move back to the US to figure out what she really wants to do with her life; while Nika grapples with whether she should transfer to a performing arts school or do what is expected of her. After the Roadtrippers meet for the first time in Southern California, they head to their first interview in the Green RV with LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) president Hannah Song who tells them to "tap into their inner passions." After their conversation, the team is inspired and ready to take on their next interview in Los Angeles.
KQED World: Fri, Jul 8, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The finale of Season 7 finds the team seeing the sights of New York City before interviewing singer-songwriter Zee Avi, as she relates her road from YouTube posting to successful recording artist. Their final interview is with Nathan Vincent, crochet artist. The team reflects on the places that they visit.
KQED World: Thu, Jul 7, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The team sits down with Rep. Barney Frank in Washington D.C. After taking in the sights of the nation's capital, the team travels to Norfolk, Virginia to watch a roller derby scrimmage and interview Margaret Wagner and her fellow skaters, hoping to gain insights into how to become fearless. Finally, it is on to New York City to visit with Liz Mandarano, former lawyer-turned-yoga instructor and studio owner.
KQED World: Wed, Jul 6, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Aaron, Liz, and Autumn settle into life on the Road, enjoying each other and the cities that they visit. Driving on to Georgia, they interview Kyle Maynard, a young man born with congenital amputation, who became a college award-winning wrestler and an entrepreneur. From there, the team heads into Tennessee to speak with Dr. Bill Bass, forensic anthropologist, which is a significant moment for Liz. In Cleveland, they visit with Van Taylor Monroe, sneaker artist, whose custom-painted Obama sneakers were donated to the Smithsonian Museum.
KQED World: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The team drives east and stops in Santa Fe, New Mexico to interview Glenna Goodacre, a renowned sculptor, before heading into Roswell, the UFO Capital of the World, to speak with actor Malcolm McDowell, who starred in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. In New Orleans, the team munches on beignets and spends a long afternoon with Matthew Nolan, poet and author of Crumpled Paper Dolls. The artists they visit during this period have a significant impact on Autumn, who wants to be a writer.
KQED World: Mon, Jul 4, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
The second Roadtrip begins with three friends from Stevensville, Montana. Aaron, Liz, and Autumn, Team "Poor Lazy Overachievers," want to get out of the "velvet coffin" of their small town. They begin their Roadtrip across the US in Los Angeles. Their first interview is with Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize-winning chemist and author of Dancing Naked in the Mind Field.
Uncertainty Is Opportunity (Episode #1006H)
KQED Life: Sun, Jul 3, 2016 -- 1:00 PM
As they enter the 5th week of their 7-week Roadtrip, the team reflects on how comfortable they've become with the unpredictable eccentricities of the Road. Megan, who is naturally wired to adhere to routine, is learning to embrace uncertainly, and this helps her cope with an influx of job rejections. In New York, the team's interview with Radiolab radio host Jad Abumrad serves to reinforce Megan's newfound acceptance of the unknown. Jad describes his unsuccessful attempts at other careers, noting that although he never thought he would get into radio, he has found it to be a surprisingly satisfying assimilation of his interests. His ability to adapt to changing circumstance teaches the Roadtrippers although they might not end up where they planned in life, their ultimate trajectory might be even better than what they expected.
KQED World: Fri, Jul 1, 2016 -- 9:30 PM
Team "Tabula Rasa" winds up their Roadtrip with a series of final interviews. In Asheville, North Carolina, Kitty Love, tattoo artist, talks about the unusual path that led her to become an Arts activist and community organizer. On their way to Philadelphia, they have a conversation with The Knux, hip-hop artists, performing at the All Points West Music & Arts Festival in New Jersey. Their final interview is with Daniela Romero, ESL Coordinator at the Nationalities Service Center.