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!


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.


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.

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.


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.

Andy Boyd Talks: "I don't trust any news source where the anchor doesn't have a speech impediment."

January 7, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

ICAndy Boyd is the producer of "My Socialism, which  we featured on last week's YouthCast. I finally got a hold of the man behind the essays, and he is one smart, nice dude. We talked for awhile about Spaulding Gray, whether or not WBEZ is an awesome radio station, being nice, smart and white, and when he's finally going to get a higher quality microphone.

Production notes: I myself was not using an awesome microphone, so apologies for the overall sound quality. Also: Cell phones! How awesome are they and how much do they suck? You'll hear some jump cuts with a busy signal becuase the call dropped a few times.

(Listen to the interview!)

Please check out Andy's website, He has links to places on the Internet where you can read his writing.