Melissa Noel won a Salute to Excellence Award in the category of Digital Media: Single Story Feature for "Jamaica's 'Barrel Children' Often Come up Empty with a Parent Abroad" from NABJ.
Noel reported on Caribbean children left behind when parents migrate to another country, who receive material support in the form of goods sent in a shipping barrel. These children are often referred to as ‘barrel children,’ and may spend as long as a decade seperated from their parents. Her reporting examined the long-term impact that prolonged parental separation can have on Caribbean children, and spoke with the health professionals who are pushing to create better ways to support these children and their families, both in the region and the diaspora.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting funded Melissa Noel's journey to the Caribbean and her reporting there, which was later published by NBC BLK and NBC News.