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GenXYZ: Amanda Mountain, 37

Regional director, Rocky Mountain PBS/ED Tim Gill Center for Public Media

Mountain has dramatically increased revenue in the three years she’s worked for Rocky Mountain PBS.

What inspired you to start the Tim Gill Center?

A big part of what we want to do is create a pipeline for citizens to tell stories that wouldn’t be told. We partner with libraries and universities, provide a public media lab, and offer access to equipment so people can be empowered.

What would someone see if they walked into the Center?

A lot of people use the space to collaborate and learn more about their community. We also have a partnership with our NPR affiliate, producing a show called “Off Topic.”

Do you feel that traditional media is failing to share stories effectively.

I don’t think people who watch TV, listen to radio or read newspapers always see themselves reflected. Traditional media has limited budgets and reach.

What’s one memorable story you’ve been able to share?

There was a woman who told her story of going to an expensive liberal arts college in Colorado Springs. She went to a football game and people were berating her racially. It motivated her to stay in school alongside those people, to show them that she deserved to be there ... It was a story of resilience.

Do you consider yourself resilient?

I’m a first-generation college graduate. I graduated from the University of Colorado. I had to pay for it myself. And there have been years when I’ve worked two or three jobs at a time and was unsure what was coming up next. But I fall back on the knowledge that I’ve broken a cycle in my family. It was so important to my mother. Now my sister is going back to college in her 30s, and we’re all so proud.

Why is an education so important?

After I graduated, I could select a career based on what I was passionate about, as opposed to just to get a paycheck.

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Maria Martin

Maria Martin is a freelance writer.

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