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Playlist: Youth-Made Radio of 2014

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-132987884/stock-photo-a-studio-shot-of-a-line-of-colorful-party-flags-isolated-on-white-background.html">Shutterstock</a>.
Image by: Shutterstock
Curated Playlist

Youth producers across the country are making tons of great work. Here is a slice of some of the best youth-made radio stories of 2014, curated by PRX Editors.

Nine People, One Bedroom: A Teen's Take on Life In Poverty

From WNYC | Part of the WNYC's Educating on the Edge series | 07:43

Jairo Gomez never thought he was poor, even though he was one of seven kids and his family lived in a one-bedroom apartment. The cramped quarters made for a loud and sometimes tense home life. When he wasn't at school, Jairo spent most of his time on his skateboard, hanging out with friends. But he didn't always have that freedom.

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When Jairo started 10th grade, his mom asked him to stay home from school to watch his younger siblings while she went to work. He failed all of his classes that year.

“I did wrong in making you stay, but I didn't have an option,” his mom said. “At the time I sacrificed you. It was either good grades for you and you’d go to school, or we were going to suffer and lack necessities...it’s a balance.”

Jairo learned that the odds would be stacked against him if he didn't start focusing on his education.

LISTEN to Jairo's intimate first-person account of the very real choices about education and work that kids growing up in poverty have to make every day.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

How Jairo’s family has changed:

There are nine of us in my family and we live in a one-bedroom apartment. I share a bunk bed with my sister Judy. I used to think of my family as middle class – we’d go out to eat a lot and I could ask for clothes sometimes. But after my parents split up, my mom had four more kids and that all stopped.

How Jairo calculated his socioeconomic status:

I asked my mom to do the math, and she said right now my family makes $30,000 a year – according to the federal government we’re $15,000 below the poverty line. That kind of scares me. 

Jairo reflects on class difference:

It gets me mad that my mom works so hard. And there are people out there who are just born into it, they make money like nothing, they don’t have to clean houses, wake up early, drain themselves.

Jairo on his future:

I know I should be thinking about going to college when I graduate if I don’t want that life. But I’d have to stay at home to afford it. Nine of us in a one bedroom apartment, no privacy, one bathroom, and toys everywhere—I don’t know if I can make myself do it.

 

The series is part of American Graduate, a public media initiative addressing the dropout crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

How my dad escaped Vietnam at age 14, without telling his mom.

From KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media | Part of the RadioActive: Summer 2014 series | 06:49

Angela Nguyen is going away to college and leaving behind everything she loves. Her dad did the same when he left Vietnam. But unlike her, he left his entire life behind. Radioactive reporter Angela Nguyen finds a deeper appreciation for her father after hearing his story.

Angelas_dad_small LEDE: Angela Nguyen is going away to college and leaving behind everything she loves. Her dad did the same when he left Vietnam. But unlike her, he left his entire life behind. Radioactive reporter Angela Nguyen finds a deeper appreciation for her father after hearing his story.

Teen Marijuana Use in the Roaring Fork Valley

From KDNK | Part of the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program series | 19:04

Adele Craft discusses teenage marijuana use and the impact it has on the Roaring Fork Valley with Lori Muller, the Executive Director of YouthZone and Dr. Jonathan Birnkrant, who is a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist.

Adele1_marijuana_small Adele Craft discusses teenage marijuana use and the impact it has on the Roaring Fork Valley with Lori Muller, the Executive Director of YouthZone and Dr. Jonathan Birnkrant, who is a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist.

Get Off Your Cell Phone…Dad!

From Youth Radio | 06:21

Teen challenges her dad about who is more addicted to their cell phone.

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According to the Pew Research Center on Technology and American Life, 91 percent of adults report owning a mobile phone compared to just 78 percent of teens. Not only that, the cell phones warming the pockets of adults are smarter and more high tech than the ones owned by teenagers like me.

What does it mean for all these mature people flush with technology? Well, according to a lot of young people I spoke with, teens are no longer the most “phone addicted” people in the house. Parents are.

When I interviewed my father, Jose Escobar, for this story, we were just seconds into the conversation when his cell phone vibrated with a message. So does he think he’s addicted?, I asked.

“No,” he answered without pause.

But, when I ask him if he thinks I’m addicted, “Yea definitely,” he shot back. “You need to text less and you’re constantly reading what’s on Facebook. You need to take a break.

I think he needs to take a break. Whenever my dad comes to pick me up from school, my sister and I sit in the car for five minutes before he starts the engine, because his eyes are glued to his phone. Just like they were during my interview with him.

“See, you’re even holding your phone now,” I said to him as we talked.

“Yea,” admitted my dad. “I guess it’s just a habit.”

Scott Campbell is a communications professor at the University of Michigan. He studies the way mobile devices affect people. Habit, says Campbell, is not about how much a person uses their cell phone, it’s about intentionality.

“Habit means that you’re not thinking about what you’re doing. That it’s an automatic kind of reaction,” said Campbell. “I think people use mobile technology in a more reflexive way, and I think this is still one of the reasons why people are still texting and driving when they know it is so dangerous.”

Texting while driving. That’s what teens do right? Well, a 2012 survey, found that adults admit to texting and driving even more than teens.

Jayme Burke is the parent of two boys. When Burke was a kid, she used to argue with her dad to get him to quit smoking, but now Burke says that her kids are on her to give up a different bad habit.

“My younger son will actually say to me, ‘Mom I don’t want you to end up dead,’ because he sees all the ads where they’ll show their very last text and then they’ll show the car crunched and the person dead,” said Burke. 

She says her son’s pleas make her think about how and when she uses her cell phone, but that sometimes, the gravitational pull of her device gets the best of her.

Work emails are big part of Burke’s usage. Texting too. Sometimes, she admits, her kids compete for her attention.

“They’ll say look at me in the eye,” said Burke. “Then sometimes I’ll try to text and look at them, or text and take a break and look at them while I’m texting. It’s really awful, actually.”

The only way I could think to convince my own father that he uses the phone more than he thinks he does was to sit him down and take a cold, hard look at the numbers. To find out who was really addicted, I took the average from three months of phone records. It turns out my dad talks twice as much as I do, but I text way more.

The tiebreakerData. He used more than me.

When I confronted him about the fact that he was on his phone more than me, he was surprised.

“Wow, I wonder why,” he said. Then he got it.

“Oh yeah, because I was watching boxing. Boxing on my phone. That’s probably why I used more.”

And with that, I became the undisputed champion of cellphone self-control.

Rise: The Making of an Album

From ZUMIX Radio | 07:31

A brief look at the making of Rise, a new album by artist Taylor Fernandes Nunez.

10801716_10153022725332439_4326365704067503170_n_small A behind the scenes look at the making of "Rise", a new album by ZUMIX participant Tayler Fernandes Nunez. Story by Kimberly Romero.

Roald Dahl

From Youth Spin - KOOP 91.7 FM | 01:57

Roald Dahl is a famous children's author with such a deep and interesting story. Aubry takes you on a short journey through his life with this great bio piece.

Default-piece-image-2 Roald Dahl is a famous children's author with such a deep and interesting story. Aubry takes you on a short journey through his life with this great bio piece.

Trying to Do it Right and Not Repeat a Father's Mistakes

From WNYC | Part of the WNYC's Educating on the Edge series | 10:28

There is less research on adolescent fathers than on mothers — much less — and most of it focuses on the impact to the child if a dad is not in his or her life. But there are teen dads who are involved in their children's lives.

Radio Rookie Marvin Ramos is one of them.

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Marvin learned he was going to be a dad during a basketball game when his girlfriend Stephanie told him she was pregnant. At the time, she was 19 and he was 16. Since then, he has struggled with being the kind of father he didn't have himself.

Around the time Hailey was born, Marvin’s father left home and did not stay in touch.

Listen to Marvin’s story to hear what happens as he wrestles to understand his own dad’s shortcomings, and tries to become a more capable and present father himself.

Special thanks to West Brooklyn Community High School, Radio Rookies' workshop partner.
This story is part of American Graduate, a public media initiative addressing the dropout crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

Who Killed Santa?

From City High Radio | 03:59

Ceyela Braxton, 17, interviews students at her school about how they found out the truth about Santa. Then her 7-year-old niece, Tatum, arrives to correct them all. Santa IS real, she says. This story has great pacing, great stories, and a fun ending. WARNING: Parents, cover the ears of your children! Also, thanks to Curie Youth Radio, from whom the idea for this story was borrowed. (http://www.prx.org/pieces/22465-who-killed-santa-claus-for-you)

City_high_radio_2_small Ceyela Braxton, 17, interviews students at her school about how they found out the truth about Santa. Then her 7-year-old niece, Tatum, arrives to correct them all. Santa IS real, she says. This story has great pacing, great stories, and a fun ending. WARNING: Parents, cover the ears of your children! Also, thanks to Curie Youth Radio, from whom the idea for this story was borrowed. (http://www.prx.org/pieces/22465-who-killed-santa-claus-for-you)
The song at the end (Tatum singing) is about 50 seconds long, so this story could fit a shorter time slot. 
This story was selected by PRX for the Best Youth-Made Radio of 2014 list! 

4 Year Old Adventure Seeker

From Open Orchard Productions | Part of the The Harvest by Open Orchard Productions series | 04:05

High adventure does not scare this 4-year old! Bikes, and boating are just part of his life. However, listen to find out the one thing that’s even too scary for him to try!

4_yo_adventurers_small High adventure does not scare this 4-year old! Bikes, and boating are just part of his life. However, listen to find out the one thing that’s even too scary for him to try!

North Beach Citizens - Testimonies of Growth

From Open Orchard Productions | Part of the The Harvest by Open Orchard Productions series | 02:39

North Beach Citizens is a community-driven, non-profit organization located in San Francisco, California, that addresses the needs of local homeless and low-income residents, providing resources, services, and a foundation towards self-sufficiency. Listen to some of their struggles but also to their gratitude. For more information and stories of change, visit their website: http://www.northbeachcitizens.org

Homelessness_pic_small North Beach Citizens is a community-driven, non-profit organization located in San Francisco, California, that addresses the needs of local homeless and low-income residents, providing resources, services, and a foundation towards self-sufficiency. Listen to some of their struggles but also to their gratitude. For more information and stories of change, visit their website: http://www.northbeachcitizens.org

Birds in Costa Rica

From Terrascope Radio | 01:10

Conservationists in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica describe their relationship with birds. Excerpted from "Pura Vida: Costa Rica's Culture of Conservation."

Birds_costarica_small Conservationists in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica describe their relationship with birds. Excerpted from "Pura Vida: Costa Rica's Culture of Conservation."

A&L Bakery

From ZUMIX Radio | Part of the East Boston Stories series | 04:57

A & L is one of the last Italian bakeries in East Boston. In this story, you'll learn about the bakery, its owner, and how having your own business isn't as easy at it seems. This story was produced by Rayza Chavez in the Reality Radio class at ZUMIX.

Playing
A&L Bakery
From
ZUMIX Radio

Img_8907_small A & L is one of the last Italian bakeries in East Boston. In this story, you'll learn about the bakery, its owner, and how having your own business isn't as easy at it seems. By Rayza Chavez.

The School that Had No Water: Water Security in South Africa

From Terrascope Radio | Part of the Terrascope Radio Major Features series | 19:41

What would you do if you were headmistress of a school with no water--none for drinking, none for cleaning, none for flushing, none? Here is the story of one such headmistress, and of the poor South African district whose children her school serves. We hear how she took action to solve the school's water crisis, and we learn how water security is intertwined with education, poverty, politics and history. Available in two versions, with credits (19:41) and without (17:26).

Schoolpicstandley_small Water security is about a lot more than just water--it's about education, politics, poverty and history. Follow this group of young producers as they hear from a headmistress who found that her school's water infrastructure had collapsed completely. In her story they find also the story of the Missionvale Township, the struggle against Apartheid and the warm, enveloping culture of South Africa. Available in two versions, with credits (19:41) and without (17:26).

My Earthquake Story: Nancy Bidwell

From Alaska Teen Media Institute | 07:41

March 27, 2014 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska. What was that day like for teens and young people living in Anchorage? Alaska Teen Media Institute has more

Default-piece-image-0 Alaska Teen Media Institute's Chloe Chaobal interviewed Mary Fedoroff about her earthquake experience. Bidwell was 17 years old when the 9.2 quake battered Anchorage. She was downtown when disaster struck.

An Autistic Teen's Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson

From KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media | Part of the RadioActive: Summer 2014 series | 05:13

Lorenzo Manuel started impersonating Michael Jackson after the singer’s death. At the time he found impersonating Michael helped him to cope with the social pressures of middle school. Now, a senior in High School, Lorenzo finds that the time he spent studying Michael has helped him find a way to be himself. RadioActive Youth Media reporter Meghan O’Kelly talked with Lorenzo.

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Lorenzo Manuel started impersonating Michael Jackson after the singer’s death. At the time he found impersonating Michael helped him to cope with the social pressures of middle school. Now, a senior in High School, Lorenzo finds that the time he spent studying Michael has helped him find a way to be himself.   RadioActive Youth Media reporter Meghan O’Kelly talked with Lorenzo.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. This story was produced in  RadioActive’s Summer Introductory Workshop. Listen to RadioActive stories , subscribe to the  RadioActive podcast  and stay in touch on Facebook .

The Michael Moranos

From ZUMIX Radio | 06:28

Michael Morano explores family history to learn about three generations of men in his name.

Threegenerationsmen_small Michael Morano explores family history to learn about three generations of men with his same name.