Los Angeles has been good to Scott Budnick. He arrived more than 15 years ago as an aspiring film producer. He found a home in comedy, and eventually became the executive producer of the Hangover trilogy — the wildly popular, profane buddy movies that are still the highest grossing comedy franchise ever made.
Now, he lives in the Hollywood Hills. He drives a fancy car, lives in a beautiful house and has lots of famous friends.
But in 2013, Budnick decided to leave Hollywood for a very different field: prison reform.
Boris Nemtsov was just 37 when Russian President Boris Yeltsin named him deputy prime minister in 1997. Trained as a physicist, Nemtsov symbolized a new generation of young leaders who rose to power in the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet breakup.
But after Vladimir Putin became president, Nemtsov joined the liberal opposition and became an outspoken critic. He was arrested on several occasions, but continued his attacks on the Russian leader.
Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 11:14 am
Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.
There's a lot to celebrate in Liberia: The number of new Ebola cases have been declining, kids are going back to school and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.
Last year, Ebola struck the country and since then, it has killed more than 4,000 Liberians. But among the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa, Liberia has been the fastest at containing the outbreak. Just last week, the region reported 99 new cases of Ebola. Only one of those came out of Liberia.
Julissa Arce was born in Mexico, and came to the United States on a tourist visa when she was 11. It expired a few years later — but Arce didn't leave. Instead, she excelled in high school and college, then secured a job at Goldman Sachs. Her ascent was dramatic: she rose quickly from analyst to associate to vice president.
But Arce was scared to go to work every day, worried that her undocumented status would be uncovered and she'd be escorted out.
As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Back in 1987, Nancy Cartwright drove to the FOX Studios lot to try out for a little animated short about a dysfunctional family known as "The Simpsons."
Specifically, she was there to audition for the studious, well-mannered middle child named Lisa.
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:13 pm
A warning to listeners: This conversation may contain some disturbing content.
Andrea Pino was the first person in her family to go to college. When she found out that she had been admitted to the University of North Carolina she was thrilled. "Not only was I going to college — I was going to my dream school," she says. "... I was definitely one of those students that, you know, cried and threw their laptop on the floor and couldn't believe that I was going."
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:01 am
Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.
His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.