Bittersweet Kudos! — Staff Reporter Transition

May. 6, 2020 / By

It is with bittersweet news that we bid our star reporter Crystal Niebla an awesome farewell and mad kudos on a job well done as she transitions out of VoiceWaves and our parent nonprofit organization, Youth Leadership Institute (yli).

Starting off as a youth participant at VoiceWaves, Crystal engaged critical issues through community storytelling and quickly became a staff reporter. For the three and a half years since, Crystal has led dozens of interactive workshops, impacting the learning of many young people. She helped raise program standards in video production, photography, graphic design, and storytelling. Her reporting informed us all on critical environmental, social, housing, and gender issues to inspire civic engagement in Long Beach. She also brought much-welcomed goofiness and playfulness to our youth newsroom.

Her last day at yli and VoiceWaves will be Friday, May 8, 2020. As we like to see with every youth that enters our office, Crystal will be moving on to new, incredible opportunities. She has accepted a position at the Long Beach Post as a Report for America Corps Member and will be covering communities in West Long Beach. Expect to see her around town in action doing what she does best – shining a light on the unheard.

We are so proud of Crystal and her new opportunity to showcase the plethora of skills and creativity she has always brought to the table. We know she will do an incredible job lifting voices of the many residents, youth, and communities in need.


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We are sad to see her go since Crystal has contributed so much of her time, jokes, expertise, and skills in creating a yli that centers the needs of youth all over Long Beach, Signal Hill, and Hawaiian Gardens. Crystal, thank you for all you do and have done!!  Kudos, Crystal! Cheers!

You can see all of her great videos, enterprise stories, photography, and other work with us at:


VoiceWaves is a Long Beach youth-led journalism and media-training project. The youth, ages 16-24, are learning to report, write, and create digital journalism content. Their reports will raise awareness of community health issues and activate change.