Shereen Marisol Meraji

Shereen Marisol Meraji tries to find the humor and humanity in reporting on race for the NPR Code Switch team.

Her stories center on the real people affected by the issues, not just experts and academics studying them. Those stories include a look at why a historically black college in West Virginia is 90 percent white, to a profile of the most powerful and most difficult-to-target consumer group in America: Latinas.

Prior to her time with Code Switch, Meraji worked for the national business and economics radio program Marketplace, from American Public Media. There, she covered stories about the growing wealth gap and poverty in the United States.

Meraji's first job in college involved radio journalism and she hasn't been able to shake her passion for story telling since. The best career advice Meraji ever received was from veteran radio journalist Alex Chadwick, who said, "When you see a herd of reporters chasing the same story, run in the opposite direction." She's invested in multiple pairs of running shoes and is wearing them out reporting for Code Switch.

A graduate of San Francisco State with a BA in Raza Studies, Meraji is a native Californian with family roots in Puerto Rico and Iran.

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NPR Ed
4:12 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful ... This Great Teacher Abides By The Scout Law

Romy Vasquez leads the boys in drills ahead of an upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony.
Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:32 am

Only a small number of Boy Scouts make Eagle Scout.

The feat is even harder when you come from inner-city poverty.

Yet for 27 years, Romy Vasquez has successfully encouraged boys from South Central Los Angeles to become Scouts, and he has seen more than a dozen members of Troop 780 go on to reach scouting's highest rank.

His pitch: You want to be in a gang? Scouting is the biggest gang in the world.

"It's global," he tells the Scouts. "We got some in Japan, China, Israel, all over. So guess what? You belong to BSA!"

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Code Switch
9:08 am
Wed May 13, 2015

A Rust Belt Story Retold, Through Portraits Of The Women Who Lived It

United States Steel Mon Valley Works Edgar Thomson Plant, 2013, from The Notion of Family (Aperture, 2014).
LaToya Ruby Frazier

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 2:18 pm

Just outside Pittsburgh is the tiny borough of Braddock, Pa., best known as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill. Today, it's something of a poster child for rust belt revitalization, a place where artists can buy property for pennies and even construct outdoor pizza ovens using the bricks from abandoned or demolished buildings.

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Code Switch
10:30 am
Wed April 29, 2015

How One West Baltimore Principal Helps Her Students Make Sense Of It All

Harden-Lindsey helps direct students after the school day ends.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:31 pm

Editor's note: Code Switch reporter Shereen Marisol Meraji spent Wednesday with a West Baltimore principal charged with a huge task: helping her middle and high school students, who are overwhelmingly poor and black, make sense of what's happening in Baltimore right now.

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NPR Ed
3:37 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Why Many Smart, Low-Income Students Don't Apply To Elite Schools

Kristen Hannah Perez, a low-income, high-achieving student from Celina, Texas, plans to attend Dartmouth€ College next fall.
Shereen Meraji/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:01 pm

Right now, high school seniors across the country are trying hard not to think about what is — or isn't — coming in the mail.

They're anxiously awaiting acceptance letters (or the opposite) from their top-choice colleges and universities. But this story isn't about them. It's about a big group of seniors who could get into great schools but don't apply: high-achieving students from low-income families who live outside of America's big cities.

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Code Switch
6:35 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Steven Yeun's 'Glenn': Slaying Zombies And Getting The Girl

Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) - The Walking Dead - Season 4
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 7:48 pm

AMC's The Walking Dead holds the record for the most-watched cable television drama. If you've never seen it, it's about the zombie apocalypse and follows a group survivors trying to stay alive in Atlanta, Ga. If you're a fan — and there are millions upon millions of us out there — you know that no character is safe, and you've got a favorite character that you don't want to die.

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