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Mallory Falk

Mallory Falk was WWNO's first Education Reporter. Her four-part series on school closures received an Edward R. Murrow award. Prior to joining WWNO, Mallory worked as Communications Director for the youth leadership non-profit Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. She fell in love with audio storytelling as a Middlebury College Narrative Journalism Fellow and studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop.

When a Salvadoran woman grabbed her 4-year-old daughter and fled their home country in February, the coronavirus wasn't yet a global pandemic.

By the time they reached the U.S.-Mexico border a month later, that had changed. She crossed the Rio Grande, planning to ask for asylum. But Border Patrol agents took her and her daughter right back to Mexico, despite her pleas.

When U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar delivers the Spanish-language rebuttal to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday, she'll do so from a community health center in her hometown of El Paso, Texas.

The first-term Democrat was thrust into the spotlight last year, as her city became a testing ground for Trump administration immigration policies and the site of the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern U.S. history.

Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco.

On Monday, nearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, will start the school year amid an air of mourning, fear and resilience.

The first day of school in El Paso's largest district comes more than a week after a mass shooting at a local Walmart left 22 people dead. According to a police affidavit, the suspect charged in the attack later said he had intentionally targeted "Mexicans."

Dr. Eugene Marciniak recently examined about a dozen patients at a Catholic retreat center in Las Cruces, N.M. He set up shop at a corner table in the cafeteria and called families over one by one: a mother with belly pain, a child with a low-grade fever, a teen girl with a cracked and possibly infected tooth. They had just been released from government custody and were staying at the center for a night or two before joining relatives in other parts of the United States.

It's a Saturday morning, and school marching bands are playing for a crowd. But they're not in a Mardi Gras parade. They're in the Superdome, where 120 schools are set up at long tables, putting their best faces forward and trying to recruit families.

One gives on-the-spot instrument lessons, another is showing off it's step team.