Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

"Howard Project" participants (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, ...
A high school teacher, a lawyer, a nurse, a minister: Four college seniors at Howard University in Washington, D.C., describe their career ambitions and how they feel as graduation grows closer.

In some ways, the questions young people grapple with are universal: Who are you? What's important to you? What kind of life do you want?

But at the same time, those questions are profoundly shaped by each person's experience.

As part of an ongoing conversation on Weekend Edition, four college seniors at a historically black university in Washington, D.C., are sharing insight into their experiences — both shared and individual.

We asked Howard University's Ariel Alford, Leighton Watson, Taylor Davis and Kevin L. Peterman four questions: How do they feel about graduating? How do they see themselves fitting into their respective career paths? Who are their role models? And where do they want to be in 10 years?

Click the audio link above to hear their answers with a soundtrack of songs that inspire them — or read some of their answers below.

Ariel Alford
aspiring high school history teacher

On graduation

I feel very excited to graduate. I feel excited over the smallest things — like I'm excited to set up my classroom and I'm excited to meet my students. And actually last night I prayed for all of my future students.

Where she sees herself in 10 years

I want to be happy. I want to be spiritually centered and grounded. I want to have read a lot more books than I've read now. Ideally, by 32, it would be cool if I was married and had a few kids. I mean, I want a lot of kids, I want a big family. I'll probably still be teaching. Who knows, I may be on the school board, or I may be trying to run for office, or working for the U.N.

Leighton Watson
aspiring lawyer

On graduation

I feel amazing about graduating ... in four years, which, if you look at the national averages, is not average anymore. But then also just having the experience of moving on to the next level. The four years of college weren't the four years or period of time that I was looking forward to the most. It's really this next phase of life, where it's a bunch of firsts: It's your first time getting a car, first time getting an apartment, first time living truly on your own, paying bills.

On fitting into his career field

When I look at cases and trials like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and different things like that ... Those cases make me want to go into the legal field because I know — I would like to know — I can represent those sort of people that maybe can't hire the best legal counsel and maybe don't have the money for the best legal counsel. And I'd like to be the person to get that call.

Taylor Davis
aspiring nurse

On graduation

I found out that I wouldn't be graduating over the winter break and it was really difficult for me because it came initially with a lot of shame, just because it's not something that people would expect of me. So I spent that winter break, thankfully, at home, away from Howard, away from my peers, alone and alone with God. It really allowed me to recenter myself. And I can see how God has allowed certain circumstances that seem negative on the surface; I see how He's going to allow this to greatly benefit me in the long run. So it's really put me in a place where I can experience true contentment and joy regardless of what is going on around me.

On fitting into her career field, and why she expects to have to work harder than her coworkers

There is always going to be this question of your competence. Intellect is really — especially in America — associated with whiteness, and if you don't have that then you're assumed to not be as intelligent. And it's drilled in you as an African-American, from childhood until you finish your education ... that you have to work twice as hard to get half as far. And we internalize this ideology that we have to grind our fingers to the bone and in some ways disassociate ourselves from our blackness to obtain success. And I've really gotten to a point in my life where I ask, "Why?"

Kevin L. Peterman
aspiring minister

On fitting into his career field

African-Americans ... if there's any institution that has truly kept our community together, it is our religious tradition. And it's all about expanding that. I truly want to be the future of this concept of the black church, this concept of theology that liberates.

On his role models

My grandmother, who was the greatest inspiration, the smartest person I knew who never walked into a college — who was indeed probably the smartest person I ever met. My mother, who's been such a support to me. Her love just inspires me to continue to want to do something to make her proud.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Every answer today is the name of an Academy Award winner or nominee for bes...
In this week's puzzle, every answer is the name of an Academy Award winner or nominee for best picture. Using a given anagram, decipher the title of the film. The films will go from oldest to newest.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of an Academy Award winner or nominee for best picture. Using the given anagram, decipher the title of the film. The films will go from oldest to newest. Example: OUTWORN (1940) (2 words). Answer: OUR TOWN

Last week's challenge: Name a major U.S. city in two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically to get the cost of attending a certain NBA game. What is it?

Answer: Phoenix, Knicks fee

Winner: Jay Sethuraman of New York, N.Y.

Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Smatt Read of Somerville, Mass. Actor Tom Arnold goes by two first names — Tom and Arnold, both male, of course. And actress Grace Kelly went by two first names — Grace and Kelly, both female. Name a famous living actress who goes by three first names, all of them traditionally considered male. The names are 5, 3 and 6 letters long, respectively.

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Turkish troops crossed into northern Syria overnight. Turkey's prime minister says they successfully evacuated Turkish soldiers who had been guarding a tomb near Aleppo that many Turks hold sacred.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.