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by Emily

La Oportunidad, by Victoria Campos of University of Texas

February 8, 2012 in Youthcast by Emily


Maria Isabel wasn't supposed to finish the 6th grade. She lived in a tiny mountain ranch in Mexico, where girls stayed home to cook and raise children. If her father had had his way, that's exactly what she would have done.

Instead, Maria Isabel went to a private high school, moved to the United States, and got a college degree. Now, she's a registered nurse living a comfortable life in Texas, where her daughter is studying radio, TV and film at the University of Texas. Her daughter Victoria Campos, that is — the featured producer of this week's Youthcast.


This story is like a three-layer-cake labor of love. Layer one: Victoria is interviewing her mom, whom Victoria describes as "such an inspirational figure in my life." Layer two: Victoria's mom is sharing an intimate story about two strangers who became very dear to her heart. And finally, layer three: it was while recording and editing this piece that Victoria fell in love with making radio. She told me, "I would go to the studio at 1pm and come out at 9pm and not even realize I had spent that much time in there. Throughout the process of editing this story, I realized that I was doing something I really loved."

So have a listen!


Once you've listened, consider this:
What makes this story work for you? Are there other perspectives you might like to hear in addition to Maria Isabel's? Leave a comment here, or tell us what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Image at top: Victoria and Maria Isabel. Image below: Victoria.

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.