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Mike and Victor: A Family Story

In 1993, Mike Checuga was a 24 year-old working obsessively long hours until his boss ordered him to take a day off each week.

2014 / Alex Kotlowitz / Amy Drozdowska / WBEZ, Chicago, USA

In 1993, Mike Checuga was a 24 year-old working obsessively long hours until his boss ordered him to take a day off each week.

So Mike started volunteering at a local orphanage where he met a 9 year-old boy named Victor who would one day become his son. Mike and Victor captures the story of one highly unlikely family, from the suprising circumstances that brought father and son together, through the twists and turns of the years that followed.

How did producer Alex Kotlowitz gain Mike and Victor's trust? And how did he and Amy Drozdowska work together to bring this story to listeners? Find out Behind the Scenes.


Mike and Victor: A Family Story has won:

The National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary from Radio Television Digital News Association.

The Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism from the Journalism Center on Prison and Families.

Hear two more series by the dynamite radio team of Alex Kotlowitz and Amy Drozdowska: Stories of Five Dollars and Other Amounts of Money and Love Stories.

Hear more work from the Race: Out Loud series from WBEZ (for which this story was produced).


produced by

Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine , The New Yorker , and This American Life , among other publications.

Amy Drozdowska

Amy Drozdowska is an award-winning journalist and multimedia producer who has worked in public radio, both in the US and abroad, for over a decade.


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