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Rising Stars Awards: Strength Through Partnership

NHPR’s Hannah McCarthy to Host October Event

NHPR and its longtime partner Stay Work Play celebrate 11 years of the Rising Stars Awards this October.

Each year, the Rising Stars Awards recognize talented young people from throughout New Hampshire who are making a difference by choosing to stay, work and play in the Granite State. Companies and programs that create impact through recruiting and retaining young people are also honored.

Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Rising Stars Awards ceremony will look different from years past. Typically, the event brings together more than 300 young people, leaders and influencers from throughout the state for a highly-anticipated evening of networking, fun, celebration and pride in the Granite State.

This year, the ceremony will be broadcast live online on Thursday, October 15, originating from the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. The week prior – Tuesday, October 6 through Thursday, October 8 - the three finalists for the Cool Company for Young Professionals award category will each host their own ‘happy hours’ online, featuring employee testimonies, virtual tours, and other fun surprises. The night of the actual ceremony on October 15, commendations will be awarded in such categories as College Student of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Civic Leader of the Year.

Knowing the ins and outs of civics education and engagement is an area of expertise for this year’s Rising Stars Awards host, Hannah McCarthy. As a host and producer of NHPR’s Civics 101 podcast, Hannah regularly explores the basics of democracy and U.S. government principles via the podcast and on-air during NHPR’s “Ask Civics 101” segment, which airs each Monday during All Things Considered on NHPR. With her Civics 101 co-host Nick Capodice, Hannah recently published a book, A User’s Guide to Democracy.   

Hannah explains why she chose to stay, work and play in New Hampshire.                                                                                                     

Why she STAYS: 

Growing up in Massachusetts, New Hampshire represented long weekends and escape. Skiing, hiking, refusing to get out of the icy ocean no matter how blue I looked! When I moved here from Brooklyn four years ago, I was unsure of how to settle in a state that meant constant exploration. So I didn’t. I stayed in New Hampshire in part because it affords a unique opportunity to never stop moving, discovering, encountering. Hiking has transformed from a planned project to a casual afterwork hobby. Every weekend means a short road trip to a different town or trail or brewery. The escape just got a lot closer to my doorstep.   

Where She WORKS:

I describe my entrée into work at NHPR as baptism by fire. I was an intern in the summer of 2015, and on one of my first days I was given a mic, a recorder and told to go report out a news spot. I was a print journalist sweating bullets over creating an audio piece and turning it around for morning broadcast. The news director trusted my judgement and it was on me to rise to the standard that NHPR set. So I did. I chose NHPR over and over again, later as a Couch Fellow, then a producer and now a host, because this station typifies high expectations, quality, responsible work, and innovation. It stands out among the many public radio stations in this country, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.

How she PLAYS: 

One of the great joys of living in New Hampshire is that nearly every adventure I’ve had here has been spur-of-the-moment. A spontaneous hike in the Whites, an unplanned meal at a restaurant I happen past on a drive, an evening trip to some trails on the Seacoast. My days are varied in a way I’ve never experienced living in other states or working at other institutions. And nothing lures visiting friends like a hike and a good brewery!

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