Courtney Collins | KERA News

Courtney Collins

Reporter

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.

At KERA, Courtney is lead reporter for the series “One Crisis Away,” about life on the financial edge. Courtney has won awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Texas Medical Association, Houston Press Club and last year received the inaugural consumer financial reporting award presented by the Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the National Endowment for Financial Education. “One Crisis Away” was also recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association and National Endowment for Financial Education for excellence in personal finance reporting.

When she’s not at work, Courtney loves to read and play outdoors with her husband and wild toddler.

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Texans are struggling to pay for housing, despite the state’s reputation as an affordable place to live. Almost half of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A viral storm has erupted around a Richardson man in the last few days. On Facebook, he posted a letter from Watermark, an evangelical church in Dallas. It said his membership was revoked. The reason: He’s gay and in a relationship.

Samantha Guzman / KERA news

There’s a lot to gawk at at the State Fair of Texas. A 55 foot tall cowboy, towering cones of cotton candy, flashing midway rides that defy gravity. This year, a handful of guys on pogo sticks do that too.

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KERA’s series One Crisis Away: Drowning In Debt focused on North Texans struggling to pay back money owed. These stories struck a chord with KERA listeners—many commented that they could relate. Others weren’t nearly so sympathetic. Here's a look at what's behind the shame and stigma surrounding debt.

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The top local story this evening from KERA News: The  public radio program America Abroad will explore the relationship between the United States and Israel Sunday at 5 p.m. on KERA 90.1.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

Most people are working to pay down something. A mortgage, a credit card balance, a car note. There’s another kind of debt too—accounts that have fallen behind. They’re called delinquencies; they can wreck a credit score and stick around for years.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

Some people borrow $200,000 for law school—others, $10,000 for a bachelor’s degree they never finish.

One Lewisville musician is somewhere in between. She has two undergraduate degreees. One’s paid off, one isn’t anywhere close. KERA's series One Crisis Away: Drowning In Debt zooms in on America's trillion dollar problem: student loans.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

Debt isn’t something limited to folks with low paying jobs. The typical Texan carries nearly $4,700 in credit card debt. Here’s the thing: That balance tends to increase as income goes up.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

For many Texans, the economy is booming—plenty of jobs that pay well and a low unemployment rate.

For many working families, though, there’s a monster in the closet: debt. It looks different in every house and gets tougher to control as each day passes.

KERA's new series One Crisis Away: Drowning In Debt chronicles North Texans scrambling to stay on top of their personal mountain of “money owed.”

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A North Texas program designed to help marginalized women secure meaningful employment also hopes to empower women. The Akola Project says that starts with a job that pays a living wage.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

One North Texas school has a plan to help families living in poverty stay involved at school. Teachers at one elementary are bringing the classroom into the home.

Staffers say a visit before the first school bell even rings can set the tone for the entire year.

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When you don’t have much money, finding legal representation is a challenge; which is why North Texas legal aid groups want families with limited resources to know, help is out there.

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Tax-free weekend starts Friday in Texas. The three-day break lets families buy backpacks, sneakers and blue jeans with no sales tax, which seems like a straightforward way to save.

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An often overlooked aspect of domestic violence is financial abuse. Victims are forced to co-sign loans, open new credit cards and make purchases they can’t afford.

One Tarrant County woman lost tens of thousands of dollars to her abuser. Years later, she’s still working to regain her financial footing.

Texas Tribune / TPR.org

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: Some Texas Democrats gathering in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention are pushing two Texans as candidates to be the next national party chair: the Castro brothers – Julian and Joaquin.

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The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: This week, a computer outage took down the Southwest Airlines website, forcing 1,300 hundred flight cancelations, and stranding passengers and crews. Then, despite a record second quarter profit, its stock price fell. 

Rick Holter / KERA News

The last link in the second Calatrava bridge arch on I-30 over the Trinity River has been dropped in.

The Margaret McDermott Bridge was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava-- as was the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, completed in 2012.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: A new light rail extension takes its maiden voyage. The DART extension runs three miles from the Ledbetter Station in South Dallas to the University of North Texas Dallas campus.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Simply re-arranging food pantry shelves is helping low income families make healthier choices. It's the same philosophy supermarkets employ-- called nudging-- when the store creates a special display to feature a product.

One North Texas pantry has had luck pushing brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

Texans must be natural fighters, because all four members of the Olympic taekwondo team were either born or raised in the Lone Star State. Youngest member Jackie Galloway goes to SMU, trains in Garland and lives in Wylie.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Top Stories: Texas sent off another of its officers killed in the line of duty last week. The funeral for Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol was the fourth of five.

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The top stories this afternoon from KERA News: A leading museum director from Mexico has been tapped to run the Dallas Museum of Art.

Liz Myong / KERA news special contributor

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: Three funerals were held Wednesday for slain Dallas police officers. Two more will follow. KERA will chronicle the lives of each fallen officer in the series Remembering The Fallen.

Elizabeth Myong / KERA News

Those who didn’t have a ticket to the memorial service honoring five, slain Dallas police officers still gathered outside the Meyerson Symphony Center in a show of support.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: The fear, shock and outrage over Thursday night’s deadly shootings is still vivid as Dallas tries to come to grips with what happened. President Obama will be in town for an interfaith memorial service and funeral services start Wednesday for fallen officers.

Seema Yasmin / Twitter

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: Dallas is just beginning to process the terror that shot through downtown Thursday night when a gunman opened fire at the end of a peaceful protest. Five police officers were killed; at least seven others were hurt, along with two civilians.

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The federal government has given American Airlines and Southwest Airlines tentative  approval to start commercial flights to Cuba. The initial plan is to have flights connect through Miami.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News: This season’s first human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed by Dallas County. The resident is from Irving, and lives in the 75060 zip code. This person has the severe, neuroinvasive form of the disease.

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News: Chronic concern over finances can take quite a physical toll on the person worrying, with a third of Americans reporting sleep disruption over money troubles.

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Worrying about money can be stressful, distracting and time-consuming. According to new research, a third of Americans are actually losing sleep over it.

Experts say chronic concern over finances can take quite a physical toll on the person doing the worrying. 

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