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2016 Must-Listen Podcasts Of The Year

By Kevin Breen

Must-Listen Podcasts Before End of Year

As a Jesuit Volunteer through JVC Northwest, podcasts became vital to my experience in Washington state. Listening to the first season of Serial allowed me to obsess over a story along with my community mates. Radio Ambulante helped me practice my Spanish as I mowed the lawn during hot summer months. Programs like Radiolab kept me learning outside of the classroom. Even now, podcasts continue to leave an imprint on my learning, my entertainment, and my connection with others. Here are some podcasts from 2016 that did all of those things for me.

Podcast #1: Alt Latino Picks the Best Latin Music of 2016 – December 14, 2016 – Alt Latino

Alt Latino is one of my favorite podcasts for writing, running, commuting, or really anything. The DC-based program, hosted by Felix Contreras, surveys the Latin American music scene weekly. This end-of-year episode has given me tracks that will drive a lot of my music consumption in the new year.



 Podcast #2: One Last Thing Before I Go – September 23, 2016 – This American Life

For 21 years, This American Life has examined the patchwork interactions we experience in this country. In this episode, TAL digs into the stories of ordinary people trying to express something extraordinary—their final words to loved ones. I love this episode because it is representative of This American Life at-large; it’s funny, heartbreaking, fascinating, and thought-provoking.



Podcast #3: Why is the World So Beautiful? – April 28, 2016 – On Being

I usually listen to On Being with Krista Tippett because it opens me up to different ways of understanding (or growing in) spirituality. This episode stands out because it pulled at my heart as well as my head. Krista Tippett’s conversation with Nobel physicist Fran Wilczek centers on this: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?”


Podcast #4: One Vote – November 7, 2016 – Radiolab

While one vote in a country of 300 million can feel insignificant, Radiolab producers offer an antidote to this pessimism—an episode that highlights the power of a single vote. Hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad take their listeners to places like lion-infested jungles, remote Texas properties, and into the past on this episode. If one ballot can make a dramatic impact, then the lives of 10,000 Former Jesuit Volunteers must have some sway!



By Kevin Breen

Kevin works on JVC staff as the Recruitment Manager! They served as a Jesuit Volunteer through JVC Northwest in Yakima, WA and worked with low-income, farm-worker families living in affordable housing. Kevin is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland and spent Spring 2013 in El Salvador through la Casa de la Solidaridad. On recruiting trips you can easily break Kevin’s concentration by bringing up good music, most podcasts, and all forms of fiction.