A Child's View of Domestic Violence by Valencia McMurray of MPR News

August 10, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

For fourteen years, a singular event has shaped Valencia McMurray's life: her mother, Charlene Sanders, was violently attacked by her father when she was 6 years old. More than a quarter of American children experience parents physically fighting each other at some time in their lives. Early researchers into family violence often considered children to be "invisible victims," but that view is changing.

MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Valencia's story follows how she, her mother, and her siblings reacted that night and how they've dealt through the years, mostly by trying to forget what happened. Her mom actually says she was surprised nobody asked her how her kids were doing. Now, Valencia reports that new focus on the affects of domestic violence on children have helped her and will help more kids in the future.

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We've featured a few other stories from the MPR News Youth Series. Give them a listen and you'll travel to Washington DC to meet the president and to California to visit a Japanese Internment camp.

Music on this week's episode is by Deal the Villain, our fave.

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.

Career Advice From the President by Iman Fears of Minnesota Public Radio News

June 2, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Iman in Washington

Photo by Jakub Mosur

Iman Fears (right) was one of two teens chosen from Minnesota to attend the U.S. Sentae Youth Program. She spent a week in D.C. in early March 2010, conducting interviews and recording her thoughts in an audio diary.

In addition to meeting her senators, a chance few people have to begin with, she also met the President and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This inspiring report was featured as apart of Minnesota Public Radio News's Youth Radio Series.

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MPR's Youth Radio Series pairs high school and college-age reporters from diverse backgrounds with an experienced MPR producer to create compelling stories for MPR News, as they say on their website. That producer is usually Sasha Aslanian. She told me that the program was created after their first youth reported piece aired. There was such an overwhelming response from listeners, they now try to deliver a youth reported piece once a month. Check out the sensational premiere, Welfare Migration by Paris Porter on PRX.

Check it out! I talked to Iman on the phone and she does give the gossip like I promised: USA chants in the White House, and staying in the same hotel as former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer when he was, uh, scandalizing himself.

(Listen to the interview!)

Music in this episode is by Deal the Villain and I.D. and Baobinga. It was found at the Free Music Archive.