The Brooklyn-born Sylvia Maria Gross was hired by Kansas City's NPR affiliate, KCUR 89.3, in 2004 to launch a news magazine show, KC Currents, which went on the air a year later. But she immediately started reporting for the station's news department, focusing on immigration issues and the Kansas City, Missouri, School District. "I don't really have an established beat, but I'm passionate about many things, including education," says Gross, a former schoolteacher who earned degrees from Yale and Columbia. This year, Gross received the Excellence in Media Award from the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus for her coverage of women's issues. "One of the things I like about Kansas City is that there are a lot of stories not being told in the media. That's exciting for a reporter. I wish I could do every story I come across."