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Teenage Diaries

Series produced by Radio Diaries

Series image

Since 1996, the Teenage Diaries series has been giving tape recorders to young people around the country to report on their own lives.

Diarists conduct interviews, keep an audio journal and record the sounds of daily life -- usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year. Radio Diaries works with each diarist to produce their recordings into documentaries for NPR's All Things Considered.

Over the past 16 years, the series has produced some of the most memorable stories ever heard on NPR. In December 2012, Radio Diaries will revisit 5 of these stories and the diarists who made them. We'll find out what happened to Josh, who's lived with Tourette's syndrome; Amanda who came out to her parents in her story; Melissa who practically gave birth on the radio, and many others.


17 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Majd Abdulghani
Majd Abdulghani is a teenager living in Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive countries for women in the world. She wants to be a scientist. He...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 17, 2016
  • Length: 30:45
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Claressa Shields, Credit: Sue Jaye Johnson
Boxing has been an Olympic sport since the time of the ancient Greeks. But only men have taken part. This year, that changes. For the first time ev...

Bought by WXDU, KUOW, PRX Remix, KGOU, KUT and more


  • Added: Jul 19, 2012
  • Length: 15:53
  • Purchases: 7
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Emily gives an inside look at “sportos,” “krusties,” “krinkles,” and how being a teenager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Bought by XRAY.fm


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:14
  • Purchases: 1
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Ricky’s father is an atheist activist. These days, Ricky is beginning his own search for God, and something to believe in. This story is part of th...

Bought by KSFR, New Hampshire Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 20, 2012
  • Length: 11:25
  • Purchases: 3
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Mandy attends an evangelical Christian church. Every Sunday, she arrives at least an hour early for services, because that’s one of the things you...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2012
  • Length: 12:20
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While living on a farm in the Mississippi Delta that was once part of a slave plantation, Randy searches for clues about the life of his great-gran...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, KGNU, New Hampshire Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:11
  • Purchases: 4
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Frankie’s second Teenage Diary follows his season playing running back for the Valley Head Tigers. Recorded in 1997, Frankie documents his life as ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 16:24
  • Purchases: 1
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Frankie always thought his family was pretty normal until the day the FBI showed up. His dad had been hiding from the law for 15 years, and Frankie...

Bought by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, KOSU, and WJCT


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:10
  • Purchases: 3
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In Juan’s second audio diary, he travels back to Mexico to visit his dying grandfather. This is his first time back since he immigrated to the Unit...

Bought by KSFR and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 25:51
  • Purchases: 2
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This is Melissa’s second audio diary. Her son Issaiah is now one-year-old. “I’m a really selfish person…I want to be treated as the baby. I want t...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:37
  • Purchases: 1
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Amanda's family is Catholic. Amanda is bisexual. And she's having a hard time getting her parents to understand that this is not just a phase. "Whe...

Bought by KZYX, KUOW, KXOT Public Radio, PRX Remix, Remix Radio and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 21:30
  • Purchases: 10
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Josh has Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal outbursts. "It feels like there's a bi...

Bought by HowSound, WORLDcompass.org, PRX Remix, Remix Radio, PRX to iTunes and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 12:25
  • Purchases: 12
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In Josh's second diary, he packs his tape recorder for his first summer away from home. "What I have here is an envelope on which this girl Nicole ...

Bought by KFAI, PRX Remix, Remix Radio, and WYBC


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 18:11
  • Purchases: 4
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Melissa didn't mean to get pregnant. After 12 years of living in the foster care system, she's trying to build the family she never had. "The funny...

Bought by PRX Remix, KFAI, Remix Radio, PRX to iTunes, KXOT Public Radio and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 29:20
  • Purchases: 10
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15-year-old Nick chronicles a turbulent year in his life. “If you could give me any advice or give me some potion that would make people my age st...

Bought by Moab Public Radio, KFAI, KUT, PRX Remix, Remix Radio and more


  • Added: Jun 26, 2004
  • Length: 17:48
  • Purchases: 10
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Juan crossed the Rio Grande illegally into Texas four years before he first recorded with Radio Diaries. At the time of his original diary, Juan an...

Bought by XRAY.fm, WJCT, KSFR, PRX Remix, Remix Radio and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 24:32
  • Purchases: 9
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Jeff Rogers first recorded his Teenage Diary back in 1998 when he was a self identified 'halfrican.' He was thinking more and more about race and b...

Bought by KSFR, WCAI / WNAN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, KGNU, KSJD and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2003
  • Length: 35:20
  • Purchases: 21