Wall Street Woes by Lauren Silverman of Youth Radio

October 19, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

It used to be that entering the financial sector—be it as a banker, a stock broker, maybe a hedge fund manager! Whatever they do!—was a normal, vanilla job possibility for young people. It was on the same generic shortlist as doctor, lawyer, movie star, or astronaut. But ever since the recession began at the end of 2008, spurred on by the shady dealings of people working at the highest levels of finance, those job titles have become loaded words.

Lauren Silverman used to think that Wall Street was her path. And let’s just say that when the bank bailouts happened, her dream crashed, deflated, and possibly bottomed-out, to borrow a few familiar metaphors. But guess what? Lauren found another career that has worked out for her: public radio! She now works as a producer for Weekend All Things Considered. Stay tuned after her commentary, because we talked on the phone about just how you get in the door in Washington DC and why its never too late to go back to radio.

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And finally, waaah! This is the last episode that I will be hosting for YouthCast. It's been a lot of fun, meeting producers around the country over the phone and by email, listening to hours and hours of youth produced radio that, in my opinion, can far surpass the work of professionals in its honesty and originality. So I want to shout out all the young producers who make this work mostly on their own time and all the mentors who I know put a lot of their own time into these projects as well.

YouthCast will only be taking a brief a hiatus though, before your new party host, Emily Corwin, takes over on November 2nd. If you want to keep track of my antics, follow me on Twitter. Shh! It's my personal account, @mollyelena.

Homestead Childhood by Grace Edgerton of City High Radio

May 18, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

A homestead cabin in Wisconsin

It’s a childhood dream, to grow up in the wild, close to nature, maybe in a tree-house, Swiss Family Robinson style. But in reality, it might not be as easy as the picture books show. Grace Edgerton grew up on a homestead out in the Arizona desert, initially living in tents before the house was built.

She now lives in Tucson and attends City High School, a small charter school with an awesome radio program. And when it came time for her to make a feature, there was no other question as to what story Grace would tell: her own.

This episode includes an interview with the producer herself!

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The book I reference in my interview with Grace is called This Life Is In Your Hands, by Melissa Coleman. It's about another childhood spent going "back to the land" in Maine, that ends quite tragically.

The music in this episode is by Toumani Diabate, a master of the kora, a 21 string harp from Mali.

We All Want the Same Thing: An Interview with Ahmed Hemeid

April 8, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

I gave a call to Ahmed Hemeid, producer of our most recent episode, right before his Biology class started at the United World College in New Mexico. That's a picture of him above, carrying his country's flag at a UWC Welcoming Ceremony.

Our conversation happened Thursday morning, right after we learned that the Israeli Defense Forces were re-starting airstrikes in Gaza in response to a retaliatory Hamas rocket launch at school bus that injured to Israelis. Now, since our conversation and as of this posting, 10 Palestinian civilians have been killed in these strikes.

It's difficult to find reasons to be hopeful. Since the first Intifada in the 1980s, the wars in Israel and the Palestnian territories of Gaza and the West Bank have been a back and forth volley of violence. But Ahmed says leaving his home has changed some of his perceptions. He had never talked to an Israeli who was not a soldier at a checkpoint. And the Israelis he has met at school had never talked to a Palestinian. Here Ahmed's positive messages of change and his stories of growing up in a country that is not quite a country.

 

(Listen to the interview!)

The Guru of the Quince Dances by Oscar Hernandez and Domingo Diaz of Texas Folklife

February 23, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

She enters… A photo from Flickr user Ah Zut.

Everyone loves a party. And everyone loves a Quinceañera, whether they know it or not.

During this birthday and coming-out party for a fifteen year old girl, there are a number of dances that the birthday girl does: with her father, with her friends, and with a special boy.  But how does a fifteen-year old, on the cusp of womanhood, know how to do all of these elegant ballroom dances? With a little help of course.

Producer Oscar Hernandez met the Guru at a Quince party to which he was giving lessons. Juan Pablo Estada liked the way that Oscar danced and asked him if he wanted to start coming along with him to different parties, dancing with attendees and upping the skill level. In this episode of YouthCast, the feature by Oscar and Domingo is followed by an interview with Oscar Hernandez about Quinceañera dance culture in Austin, TX.

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Learn more about Texas Folklife. Their youth radio program, Stories from Deep in the Heart, is just kicking off. Program director Diane Zander Mason told me that last year, Oscar and Domingo were just two of 10 students. This year they're working with close to forty students from two high schools in Austin! Yay for rapid growth!

And if you are now a little obsessed with Quinceañeras, like me, since I'm a girl and love sparkly things and parties, check out this website, Mis Quince Mag. It suggests good songs to dance to and has tons of videos… So emotional and cheesy! I wish I was fifteen again… but not really.

Dumpster Diving by Rebecca Barker of the Alaska Teen Media Institute

February 9, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Slightly safer and cleaner dumpster diving for books in NYC.

There’s so many recession stories out there of how people are saving money and hustling to make ends meet. So what’s the most extreme thing you’ve heard of people doing? Well, for me, it’s dumpster diving.

Get to know Connor the dumpster diver. He looks for food, clothes, and pretty much anything else people throw away that is still useful.

But it’s not just a piece about “Hey, check out this wacky guy and the wacky things he does.” Reporter Rebecca Barker of the Alaska Teen Media Institute finds out why climbing into a dumpster, while thrifty and pretty rock n’ roll, is culturally taboo, sometimes illegal, and definitely unclean.

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Now, you don't have to get slimy and dirty to have fun and maybe pick up some free goodies. The Internet will lead you toward free and cheap things to do and consume in, and let us know of things going on in your area!

Intro and outro music is Never ending story by Scappare di Casa / CC BY-NC 3.0
Photo CC Licensed by Special KRB on Flickr.

Japanese-American Granddaughter Questions Internment by Mara Kumagai Fink for MPR News Youth Radio

December 29, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

A New Year usually means a new beginning. It’s time to look back, figure out what worked and what didn’t and then move on with your life. But obviously there are some events and histories that you can’t abandon so easily. Mara Kumagai Fink’s family has that kind of American experience. During World War II, since her family was of Japanese descent, they were moved from their homes in the Pacific Northwest to internment camps in the desert of California. In the years that they lived there, they lost their businesses and their connections to home.

In this story produced for Minnesota Public Radio News' Youth Radio Series, Mara starts with an inteview with her Grandmother, travels to California with her great aunts, and starts to understand the impact of this event on her family. Stay tuned after the feature, because Mara and I had a conversation and she told me some details that are not in the final piece.

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Above and to the right is photo of Mara and her Aunt Matsue. They are at the memorial to the internees on Bainbridge Island in Seattle, where most of Mara's family lives now.

To learn more about Japanese American internment, don't just stop at the Wikipedia page (though it is a good jumping off point.) Check out the now National Historic site of Manzanar, the camp that Auntie Matsue and Mara's grandma were interned at, and also the web page for Mara's piece, where MPR News has a slideshow of photographs of Mara and her family as well as historical shots from the 40s.

I Didn't Know That (You Were a Muslim) by Tali Singer

November 17, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

When Beth first started college, she knew she was interested in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. But when she began taking classes, she found she was more interested in the spirituality of Islam than its politics. Then, in 2008, this 6-foot-tall, Irish-Catholic girl from upstate New York made the decision to convert to Islam. A confident, and deep-thinking young woman, Beth describes how this new identity feels natural to her even when it is causing tension in her family.

I Didn't Know That (You Were A Muslim) is a short portrait of Beth's spiritual journey by independent producer Tali Singer. After the story, listen to a conversation Tali and I had about finding a good story and why being an independent producer is not for everyone.

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Couple links to help y'all out: In our conversation, Tali mentions apprenticing with Dmae Roberts and what a grant-writing beast Dmae is. In fact, she is a such an expert, she a has a great, resourceful blog on the topic: Funding Your Bliss. This is well worth a look through if you are setting out on your own for any project for which you need funding.

Tali and I also talk about the Third Coast International Audio Festival, where we met! Third Coast is a radio conference and competition for audio producers. Tali was part of the Pitch Panel, a session that allowed producers to pitch their stories face to face with editors of  national shows and popular podcasts. Listen to both of those pitch sessions here and here, along with more session audio from Third Coast if you can't make it until 2012. Tali mentions that this conference was overwhelming (and I agree!), so we both should have reviewed Dmae's article on Conference Mapping.

Hear more of Tali's profiles over at PRX.


Intro music is called Journey To The Moon by DjCode / CC BY-SA 3.0

Outro music is called Mamma Roots Daddy by Lax-o-mat / CC BY-SA 3.0

Horned Lizards of Our Nation’s Air Force by Jordan Nelson of KOSU

October 20, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Did you know that the government owns 30% of the land in the United States?  Between seven or so different bureaus, that’s over 1 million square miles of forests, rivers, giant caved faces of dead presidents, nuclear waste sites, and military testing grounds and bases.

This week’s feature is about what some inhabitants of those federal lands are up to: Horned Lizards. Jordan Nelson of KOSU in Stillwater, Oklahoma heads to Tinker Air Force Base to learn how the military and biologists are living peacefully with what are commonly known as "Horny Toads." And within this podcast, there is an interview with Jordan about what he plans to do with his Journalism degree. His secret: multimedia is the future. Enjoy!

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Learn more about horned lizards! Some species can shoot blood out of their eyelids as a defense mechanism. Pretty sweet!

Homelessness: It Could Happen to Anyone, Even My Dad by Iris SanGiovanni of Blunt Youth Radio

August 25, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams



Iris and her father, Robert

When Blunt Youth Radio member Iris SanGiovanni was eight years old, her dad became homeless for six months after her parents divorced. A few years later, she had the chance to talk with him about his experience.

This conversation exposes the myths and stereotypes that we have about homeless people. Iris even realizes after talking to her dad how much of the advice that he gave her came from his experience. After listening to this, I had to take a moment and reflect on my own life and I felt grateful for what I had. So thank you, Iris and Robert SanGiovanni, for sharing this story with such a large audience.

The Maine Association of Broadcasters awarded Iris's reporting first place in its radio features category, and this was not a special youth category. This was for the whole state of Maine! So congratulations Iris for representing the kind of thoughtful writing and stories that young people are making!

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WEB EXCLUSIVE!

I gave Iris a call while she was at a meeting for Blunt. She told me about her new expectations for herself after creating an award-winning piece at the age of 14 and her new perspectives on family after interviewing her father.

(Listen to the interview!)

Music in this podcast was provided by the Free Music Archive. The intro is called Ringtones by (Xiu Xiu) / CC BY-NC 3.0. The outro is called Hot Brick by CAVE.

Questions asked, Answers given: Ece Ergadöz

July 5, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Ece Ergadöz produced the feature in the most recent episode of YouthCast. And though she produced it with the Youth Media Project in New Mexico, she has returned home to Turkey for the summer. She answered some questions via email ("Hi! I have my driver's test tomorrow, so sorry in advance for the short answers :) ") to let us know how her memory was jogged and her feature, Peculiar Privilege and the Elegy, was made.

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Why did it feel so awkward to ask that question about being an outsider toy your classmate? Why do you think people looked at you so strangely?

It was strange because a very tolerant atmosphere towards all cultures exists at [United World College]. Therefore, asking my friend about the feeling of outsiderness was a little out of place I think.

How did you get involved with the Youth Media Project?

I got involved because I was very involved with the Constructive Engagement of Conflict program at our school. Naomi, the director, suggested that I join YMP. I came to love the project right away.

Did you set out with a full idea of what you wanted to communicate through this story, or did it evolve more organically?

I actually had no idea about what to do at the beginning, But after talking to my German friend Tina, who is featured in my piece, I decided upon this project.

What was your writing process like? And then after that, what was your editing process like?

The writing process did not take too long because once I got the idea, it was sort of like a stream of consciousness. Editing process was tough though, especially choosing short pieces out of the long interviews I made with my friends, and figuring out the technical aspect of editing. But I had lots of fun!

Tell me a little more about growing up in Turkey. You talk about feeling out of place in your own family, but where do you feel like an insider? How would you define your culture?

I grew up in Istanbul so I have been immersed in the modern day city culture of Turkey. I am really not familiar with my parents’ ethnical backgrounds and cultures to this day. Plus, my mother was also born in Istanbul and my father moved here when he was 1-year-old. So, I have been well immersed in the majority’s culture.

Did you visit your father's hometown?

No, I haven’t been there yet. I just graduated from high school, so after all the stress I suffered during the college admission process, I much more prefer the Turkish south with lots of beaches for this summer :) I’m planning to go to my father's hometown next year. (It’s kind of cold out there in Kars)

What are you up to now?

I will be off to Harvard next fall. Thanks for featuring my story!