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.

Julian Carvajal / Flickr

For families struggling to make ends meet, it’s hard to know where to find help. 211 Texas provides a roadmap.

The call service can help with everything from putting food on the table to Medicaid enrollment. Courtney Collins caught up with Tarrant County 211, which just released a report about who's been using the service.

Matthew Rutledge

A report released last week by Apartment List shows Texas rent prices jumped 3.5 percent last year, which outpaces the national increase. Other research shows almost half of Texans spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

There are federal subsidies out there to help low income families pay for quality daycare. The problem is that money often takes months to come through. Two North Texas nonprofits are helping tide people over.

Bill Zeeble / KERA news

One in five Texas families doesn't have enough food to eat. As a result, many kids go to school hungry. That’s why school nutrition programs are so important -- and why, for the first time, the nonprofit Children At Risk, decided to rank them.

frankieleon / Flickr

Making money is one thing -- managing it is another. And new stats out from Creditcards.com prove that. The median income for Texas is better than average, but credit scores in the Lone Star State are some of the worst in the country.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service is a tradition North Texans are embracing. From painting murals to building wheelchair ramps, hundreds of volunteers spent the day giving back to their community.

Sophie Torres

It’s a dreary statistic, but it’s true: Most new small businesses fail within two years. The secret to success? Not just working hard, but understanding how to manage money.  

One workshop in southern Dallas is helping startups proceed with financial caution.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

More than 50,000 people from across the globe are streaming into the Dallas Convention Center. It’s the granddaddy of all outdoor expos: the Dallas Safari Club’s annual convention. 

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Adult coloring books are sweeping the nation. Many say they help relieve stress and unlock their inner artist. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library caught onto the craze and put together a book of their own, hoping to raise a little money. 

Over a thousand coloring books later, sales are still going strong.

Wendy Sanders / Facebook

It’s been a week-and-a half since a dozen tornadoes ripped through North Texas, killing 11 people and flattening hundreds of buildings. In Collin County, parents of 35 kids enrolled at a destroyed daycare are scrambling to re-arrange childcare.

Shutterstock

Most people won’t think about income taxes for another couple of months. But low-income families are already counting the days until they can file. 

iofoto / Shutterstock

When it comes to wealth, there’s a big gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in Dallas. And it turns out, those with means and those without don’t live very far apart.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

Between budgeting for gifts and coordinating travel, holiday to-do lists can be long and winding. For folks climbing out of homelessness, those to-do lists are longer, scarier, and much tougher to check off.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

For many people, the holidays mean hitting the stores, scouring the internet and for some of us, setting a budget. With that pressure to buy comes stress for folks living on the financial edge. According to WalletHub, one-third of Americans have already overspent.

As part of KERA’s series One Crisis Away at the Holidays, we meet two shoppers making tough decisions at the register.

Bill Zeeble / KERA news

The top local stories this evening from the KERA Newsroom:

In southern Dallas Monday afternoon, about a hundred students walked out of South Oak Cliff High School to protest overdue repairs.

David Johnson, a senior, is the football team quarter back and helped lead the protest.

Mustafa Khayat / Flickr

The top local stories this evening from the KERA Newsroom:

A total of 21 Syrian refugees are headed to Dallas and Houston next week.

The legal battle over them took another turn Friday. Texas withdrew its request for a restraining order to block Syrian refugees from coming here. The state isn’t dropping the suit though.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

Most families worry about spending too much on gifts or travel this time of year. For some small family businesses, the holidays can be a lifeline.

Quincy and Sheri Brown’s catering operation has had a tough year financially and they need to finish the year strong. Their story’s a part of KERA’s series One Crisis Away at the Holidays.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

The pressure to shell out for holiday gifts, decorations, food, travel – it can push families to spend money they just don’t have. KERA is starting a new chapter in our ongoing look at life on the financial edge: One Crisis Away At The Holidays.

To kick things off we trace the modern-day history of retail spending and debt; from department store charge accounts, to wallets packed with plastic.

Kendra Nelson

It’s easy to fall over the financial edge if you don’t have job security. That’s why a Dallas nonprofit is helping women create their own path to employment.

The YWCA’s Women’s Enterprise Center launched earlier this year, and the new entrepreneurs who define it are learning a lot about the business world.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Two elementary schools in Richardson ISD have debuted new lessons this fall that spotlight everything from landing a good job to planning for college. And a free savings account is part of the deal.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! / Flickr

City of Dallas and community leaders gathered Tuesday to talk about everything from child poverty to living wage jobs. Experts say getting a grip on the problem is the first step to solving it.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

All day, emergency crews have been tending to high water rescues, flooded streets and power outages.

The Red Cross is on standby and is using Twitter to help decide when to spring into action.

Brian Cuban

As a teenager, a 20-something, and even into his 40s, Brian Cuban looked in the mirror and saw something that wasn’t really there. The younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has something called Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Kathryn Harper / Flickr

Giving USA has been crunching charitable numbers for 60 years and 2014’s total of just over $358 billion was an all-time high. Four out of every five of those dollars came from individuals. Individuals who aren't necessarily billionaires.

Atanas Bezov / Shutterstock.com

Donating to charity is big business. Last year, $358 billion was given out and 80 percent of that came from individuals. The Philanthropy Roundtable is a national nonprofit that helps donors give wisely.

That group’s in Las Colinas for its annual meeting. And some standout North Texas groups were invited too.

Domestic Violence Deaths Increased In Texas Last Year

Oct 14, 2015
Ron T. Ennis / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Ten women in Dallas County and 10 women in Tarrant County were killed in domestic disputes last year, according to a report from the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Thousands of Longhorns and Sooners are already streaming into town for Texas-OU weekend. The Red River Showdown kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

If you can’t afford a ticket to the Cotton Bowl, clever folks at the State Fair of Texas can still have a lot of fun on the cheap.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Some experts consider childhood poverty a form of trauma.

Counselors and directors with a Dallas nonprofit say growing up poor can impact everything from impulse control to anxiety.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Some communities hover over the financial edge, while others have completely fallen off. Sandbranch, an unincorporated corner of Dallas County, is one of them. Residents there have no internet, no trash pickup and no running water. 

Courtney Collins / KERA news

The news Thursday that more than 700 people were trampled to death in Mecca cast a shadow over the start to the Muslim holiday Eid. It’s three days of gift-giving, family gatherings and prayer.

A Collin County Muslim woman is using a technique from Christmas traditions to make Eid brighter for refugee families in North Texas.

Pages