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9-year-old Leah Rice is "Live from the kitchen!"

courtesy Melissa and Jeffrey Rice

Today, the State of Opportunity team turned their microphone over to 9-year-old Leah Rice.

She reflects on her family, highlights of her summer and her thoughts on going back to school.

(She was placed in an advanced class, to which she says "uh, Boo-yah!".)

You can hear Leah's story here.

The team first met Leah when they produced a story on her family - When working hard doesn't necessarily get you ahead.

Money is tight for the Rices. On hot days, they mostly hang out in the small living room of their second-story apartment, huddled around the air conditioning box. Melissa and Jeffrey are incredibly resourceful. Jeffrey fixes cars for extra cash. Melissa sells plasma twice a week.

Leah's Mom and Dad divorced.

In her radio diary, Leah tells us how her Dad got full custody.

"And now I'm moving back in with my Dad, I'm already am with him, because my Mom made some pretty bad choice and the court didn't like that, so now I'm with my Dad... And it's really nice here. I love it at my Dad's. My Mom didn't let me see him for two months... and then one day he just came with the police and they took me."

Leah tells us about her family life as she broadcasts "Live from the kitchen!"

She tells about visiting Double JJ Ranch over the summer - Leah's review, "a really fun place for really cheap, just don't go on the weekends."

Before bedtime at the camp, Leah flips on the recorder with her cousin and we get a sense for a 9-year-old's "best night, ever" (a cute-boy sighting adds to the excitement of the day).

Leah's first person account of her summer gives us insight into her family - a family that has had its share of struggles, but is working hard to bounce back and provide a nurturing home.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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