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Playlist: Best Youth-Made Radio of 2012

Compiled By: PRX Administrator

 Credit: Trenton Good, City High Radio
Image by: Trenton Good, City High Radio 
Curated Playlist

Youth radio producers shared an impressive 452 (!) new stories on PRX in 2012. Here are Generation PRX's favorites, showcasing what we think makes youth radio great: honest, format-breaking and original work.

"Whatever you are, be a good one." by Keith Warfield

From WBEZ | Part of the Louder Than a Bomb 2012 series | 03:02

Poet Keith Warfield, 18, is a senior at TEAM Englewood Community Academy High School. This is his fourth year participating in Louder Than a Bomb. "Whatever you are, be a good one." is an Abraham Lincoln quote that inspired Keith to write about himself and the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood that he hails from.

Ltab2012_keith_small Poet Keith Warfield, 18, is a senior at TEAM Englewood Community Academy High School. This is his fourth year participating in Louder Than a Bomb. "Whatever you are, be a good one." is an Abraham Lincoln quote that inspired Keith to write about himself and the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood that he hails from.

Homeless In Seattle

From RadioActive Youth Media | Part of the RadioActive: Summer 2012 series | 10:42

It's estimated that there are currently between 6 and 8,000 homeless people in Seattle. Elizabeth Jay chose to become one of those people when her daughter went to college. Now she lives in a van. RadioActive's Sarah Rosenthal found out why.

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Mami, Papi, and Me

From Philly Youth Radio | Part of the Teen Sanctuaries series | 03:36

Shayla Torres is a senior at Community Academy in Philadelphia and is going to college next year. But first, she’ll have to leave her grandparents behind.

Bs0203_selection_19_small Shayla Torres is a senior at Community Academy in Philadelphia and is going to college next year. But first, she’ll have to leave her grandparents behind.

To see the audio slideshow video, go to http://vimeo.com/40822935.

The Desert, My Mom, and Me

From City High Radio | 06:58

16-year-old Trent needs answers, so he skips school and heads out in to the desert to do some thinking. His mother does not approve.

Trentprx_small 16-year-old Trent needs answers, so he skips school and heads out in to the desert to do some thinking. His mother does not approve. This story captures something important about the conflicts that arise between mothers and their teenage sons. It might break your heart, just a little bit. 

Las Hermanitas Garza

From Stories from Deep in the Heart, a project of Texas Folklife | 03:37

The story of one family and many generations of women in Conjunto music. Produced by Stories Summer Institute youth reporters Arlette Flores, Jennifer Gonzales, Roberto Hernandez, and Steven Ugalde, in conjunction with the Austin Music Map, Localore, and KUT 90.5.

Listening_partyexport The story of one family and many generations of women in Conjunto music. Produced by Stories Summer Institute youth reporters Arlette Flores, Jennifer Gonzales, Roberto Hernandez, and Steven Ugalde, in conjunction with the Austin Music Map, Localore, and KUT 90.5.

Aggressors, Victims, Bystanders

From Chloe Chaobal | 05:27

Is learning about bullying helpful?

Default-piece-image-2 Alaska Teen Media Insitute Reporter Chloe Chaobal with a story about the Aggressors, Victims, Bystanders program taught to teachers and students in the Anchorage School District to help combat bullying. 

Why I got called Osama in High School

From ZUMIX Radio | 05:31

A personal exploration of my experience of racism in high school.

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After 9/11 people’s perception of a terrorist changed. And at least one high school student felt the effects of this change. This story is about how one kid was bullied in the 9th grade with the term “terrorist.” This piece explains his emotions, reactions, and issues of how it started and ended. He gets help discovering what happened and thoughts from his family and friends.

Dear First Grade Teacher by AJ Tran

From WBEZ | Part of the Louder Than a Bomb 2012 series | 02:38

Poet AJ Tran, 18, is a senior at Northside College Prep. This is the second year she has represented her school at Louder Than a Bomb, which advanced to the Final round of competition in the 2012 Festival. Dear First Grade Teacher is AJ's poetic commentary on gender, how our society teaches young children what 'girls' can do and what 'boys' can do, without leaving enough room for those who may think otherwise.

Ltab2012_aj_small Poet AJ Tran, 18, is a senior at Northside College Prep. This is the second year she has represented her school at Louder Than a Bomb, which advanced to the Final round of competition in the 2012 Festival. Dear First Grade Teacher is AJ's poetic commentary on gender, how our society teaches young children what 'girls' can do and what 'boys' can do, without leaving enough room for those who may think otherwise.

Dear Father

From Youth Media Project | 02:40

Gabriel Martinez, a seventh grader, wrote this thoughtful and moving letter to his unknown father.

2907198746_f076efdd17_z_small Gabriel Martinez, a seventh grader, wrote this thoughtful and moving letter to his unknown father.

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

From RadioActive Youth Media | Part of the RadioActive: Summer 2012 series | 14:06

Cayden Harmon grew up like most little boys. He always dreamed of growing a moustache. But, ever since he could remember, Cayden also always knew he was born in the wrong body – a biologically female one. Now, at age 15, he’s come out transgender and he's going to transform his body into a male one. Radioactive’s Nina Tran (age 16) shares Cayden's story.

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"I'm From"

From Youth Media Project | 01:47

Carlos Vigil, from the YouthWorks program in Santa Fe, NM, wrote this poem-rap about growing up poor in New Mexico.

Photo-by-k_w_reinsch-youth-media-project-poverty-youthworks_small Carlos Vigil, from the YouthWorks program in Santa Fe, NM, wrote this poem-rap about growing up poor in New Mexico.

Behind the Facepaint

From outLoud Radio | 06:44

outLoud Radio producer Mykel takes us inside the world of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of fabulous queer San Francisco community organizers in nun outfits.

Sisters-soundcloud_small outLoud Radio producer Mykel takes us inside the world of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of fabulous queer San Francisco community organizers in nun outfits.

What’s Going On: The Youth Radio Remix

From TurnStyle | 09:31

A behind the scenes look at the making of the Youth Radio/1-O.A.K. remix of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' for the Kennedy Center.

Bform_small Producer Brandon McFarland says:

Marvin Gaye’s album, What’s Going On, has been called one of the great soul music records of all time. The album was showcased at a 1972 concert at the Kennedy Center in Marvin’s hometown of Washington DC. The Kennedy Center commemoratated that live performance, and has asked select musicians to re-imagine “What’s Going On” — and I’m one of those musicians.

A Normal Life

From Blunt Youth Radio Project | Part of the Incarcerated Youth Speak Out series | 06:58

From the outside, Jacorey looks like the party guy - he's 16, has his own apartment and seems to be living large. But Jacorey's private desire for an average life - with a normal family - drives him nearly over the edge.

Screen_shot_2012-08-02_at_1 From the outside, Jacorey looks like the party guy - he's 16, has his own apartment and seems to be living large. But Jacorey's private desire for a an average life - with a normal family - drives him to the edge.  When a lucky intervention from his grandmother saves his life, he realizes he has a lot to live for.

This piece was produced as part of Blunt Youth Radio's Incarcerated Youth Speak Out Project at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, Maine.  Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. 

Hip Hop Dedication

From Radio Rookies | Part of the Radio Rookies: Coming Up in 2011 series | 06:07

A lot of teenagers want to make it big as artists--whether acting in movies, singing ballads on American Idol, or making it in the hip hop world. That's what Radio Rookie Jimmy Musa dreams of -- and he thinks he's found a way to get an edge over everyone else.

Dsc00635_small A lot of teenagers want to make it big as artists--whether acting in movies, singing ballads on American Idol, or making it in the hip hop world. That's what Radio Rookie Jimmy Musa dreams of -- and he thinks he's found a way to get an edge over everyone else.

These Few Remaining Memories

From City High Radio | 09:28

Even though Mattea was only six years old when her dad died, the loss still affects her today. In this moving story, Mattea, now 17, sits down to talk to her mother about her father--his experiences in Vietnam, his PTSD, his struggle with addiction, his love for his children, and his eventual death--and how her mother managed to keep the family strong through it all.

Mattea_and_dad_small Even though Mattea was only six years old when her dad died, the loss still affects her today. In this moving story, Mattea, now 17, sits down to talk to her mother about her father--his experiences in Vietnam, his PTSD, his struggle with addiction, his love for his children, and his eventual death--and how her mother managed to keep the family strong through it all.

Half My Family Is Illegal

From Radio Rookies | Part of the Radio Rookies: Coming Up in 2011 series | 07:19

"At some point when I was growing up I admit I was mad at my parents for coming here. I was mad that they had to work so hard, that we had to wait in line to get free food, that we had to lay low, and that if I told my parents how I felt they’d think I was selfish."
— Alicia Martinez

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This story offers a new perspective on one of the most politically charged issues of our time: illegal immigration.  A lot of attention has been paid to young adults who were brought here illegally with their parents and are now growing up undocumented.  There’s been much less focus on their younger siblings—the kids who were born in the United States and grow up in mixed-status homes.  That’s the case for Alicia Martinez, who is using a fake name to protect her family’s identity.  Alicia lives in Port Richmond, a neighborhood on the north shore of Staten Island with one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in New York.  She has struggled to meet her parents’ expectations and to overcome the guilt she feels that her older sister’s life is much more limited than hers.

One Step at a Time

From Open Orchard Productions | 05:42

How does a teenage boy handle loss? David must face his father's impending death from lung cancer while also maintaining his studies and athletics.

104_small David, like some teenage boys, struggles with his emotions during this turbulent time and battles to maintain his passion of distance running.  Seeking his father's approval before his death, David pushes himself to reach his goal.

Hearing Red

From Terrascope Youth Radio | 02:39

Sounds affect us in ways we might not notice.

Tyr_logo-zigzag-350px_small What makes some sounds noise pollution while some sounds are pleasant?  Terrascope Youth Radio reporter Andy Cox offers insight, and examples.

Angelo and Joey's Sonic Youth ID

From Youth Spin - KOOP 91.7 FM | Part of the Sonic Youth IDs series | :56

Angelo and Joey took a brave step into the world of Heavy Metal. This is a story from one of their first big interviews with the lead singer from Anthrax, Joey Belladona.

Picture_2_small Angelo and Joey took a brave step into the world of Heavy Metal. This is a story from one of their first big interviews with the lead singer from Anthrax, Joey Belladona.

Untitled by Jasmine Dukes

From Free Spirit Media | Part of the "Where I'm From" North Lawndale College Prep - Collins Campus series | 01:42

Using the poem "Where I'm From" by Willie Perdomo as a creative prompt, students created poems to share and express where they come from and how they view the world: their neighborhoods, homes and experiences.

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Using the poem "Where I'm From" by Willie Perdomo as a creative prompt, students created poems to share and express where they come from and how they view the world: their neighborhoods, homes and experiences. After recording the poetry in small groups, students used Final Cut Pro to edit their work, adding music and sound effects to complete their message. Pieces were written, performed, recorded, and edited by students through Free Spirit Media at North Lawndale College Prep on the West Side of Chicago, IL.