RadioActive Youth Media | KUOW News and Information

RadioActive Youth Media

About | Workshops | Contributors | Contact | Apply

RadioActive is the youth media program at KUOW where youth delight in discovering public radio journalism. Hear stories created by RadioActive youth producers about the people and issues that matter to young people in the Northwest. Subscribe to get our latest audio pieces delivered directly to you.

RadioActive stories produced prior to October 2012 can be found on our archive or here, too!

Cooking curry is my mom's feminist act

Nov 15, 2017
Neelima Musaliar (L) learned to cook as a prerequisite for an arranged marriage. Now she's teaching her daughter Aliyah (R) to cook to show her that she doesn't need to stir the pot for anyone other than herself.
KUOW Photo / Aliyah Musaliar

I’m the worst cook.

Actually, I'm worse than the worst. I’m the kid who burnt cereal because I thought microwaving Cocoa Puffs would result in a more melty-chocolate flavor.


Does Allah hate me because I'm queer?

Nov 8, 2017
Courtesy of Saara Majid

"Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm. Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-‘ālamīn. Ar raḥmāni r-raḥīm."

"I pray all the time throughout the day," Saara Majid, a 25-year-old Muslim, told me. "I always have my prayer beads on me. They're my sense of security." 


This 63-year-old could lift a baby elephant

Nov 1, 2017
Alma Kimura, 63, powerlifts at Seattle Strength and Power on 3rd Ave., in Seattle. Kimura started powerlifting at age 58.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Five years ago Alma Kimura was a successful lawyer. She played tennis every Thursday and was a part of a book club.

Then one of her tennis partners suggested she try another sport. Alma, 58 at the time, figured it would be good for her health. So she gave powerlifting a try.


Abay Estifanos

When I see a set of stairs or a bench at a plaza, I think of the tricks I want to do on them.

It’s like, I have to land this trick.

And I'm not the only one who thinks that way.


'I'm so trans. Like the transest you can get.'

Oct 18, 2017
KUOW Photo / Megan Farmer

“I’ve been so lucky,” my friend Graham Blair said. “It’s not like this for most trans people.”


Why was I taught sex ed by a man who uses the word 'slut'?

Oct 12, 2017
Credit: Prelinger Archives. https://archive.org/details/parent_to_child_about_sex

Sex is everywhere. But many people still think teens aren’t ready to handle the #Truth.

RadioActive takes a look into how we value and define virginity, and the push for abstinence-only education.


Bhangra and skateboarding: 'I can do my own thing and that’s fine with me'

Oct 4, 2017
Flickr photo / joellofving https://flic.kr/p/8bouzQ

Two stories on our podcast this week about Seattleites breaking free and breaking stereotypes:

  • Jesse Weinstock is an avid skater. “Most of my best friends I met through skateboarding. My oldest friend, Andy, I met on the first day of seventh grade. I was like, 'You have a skate shirt on, do you skate?' We’ve been friends now for 30 years.” 
  • Ashveen Matharu has been dancing Bhangra since middle school (she recently graduated high school). “I was motivated to dance Bhangra because it’s a stereotype for girls not to dance Bhangra.” 


Courtesy of the Konz family

Everyone has a story to tell, and we thought it would be cool to see what they were.

Thick brows were not invented by your favorite Instagram star

Sep 21, 2017
KUOW PHOTO/ZEYTUN AHMED

What’s up with eyebrows?

Eyebrows take up such a small part of our bodies but hold a special place in our hearts. They also make up a multimillion dollar industry.

Courtesy of Zuheera Ali

My mom, my Hooyo, has a special way of teaching you so much about the world and so little about herself.

She tells you the parts of her life that are going to push you to succeed the way she did, without letting you see the struggles she went through.


That shop owner you met at Pike Place Market? They've probably seen a ghost

Sep 6, 2017
Pike Place Market is notoriously, at least for people who work there, a hub of paranormal activity in Seattle. RadioActive's Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills decided to head down there to see for themselves.
FLICKR PHOTO/Joe Szilagyi (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/2xQ0kaK

Millions of people across the world believe in ghosts or have had a paranormal experience. RadioActive’s Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills delve deep into the paranormal culture around Seattle in search of a story of their own.


Want to avoid war? Listen to my grandma’s story

Aug 30, 2017
Courtesy of Natalie Newcomb

Recently I was visiting my grandmother, Kazuko Nita, in Japan. 

Achan, as I call her, knows that I’m not good at cooking and that my knife skills are horrible, so she decided to teach me how to thinly slice cucumbers. It was very difficult to cut them thin and quickly, but as Achan says with everything, I need to do it over and over again, then I will get it.

Flickr photo / JoeinSouthernCA http://bit.ly/2wlFEJW

On the surface, the city of Seattle seems to celebrate diversity, but Seattle's Garfield High School tells a different story.

From the effects of historic housing discrimination, to the current academic tracking program that separates Advanced Placement from "regular" classes, and the drama department's production of a Latinx play with a non-Latinx cast, current and former students talk about how racism manifests at the school. 

'Weird' food? More like weirdly good food!

Aug 15, 2017
KUOW photo

Food can be such a mystery to young and old. RadioActive's Abay Estifanos and Jessie Nguyen lead their audience through the unknowns of food, and discuss how it relates to who we are as people.

KUOW Photo / Amina Ibrahim

The process of immigrating to the U.S. is complicated and getting harder all the time. Abdulai Yakubu immigrated from Ghana to go to Cornell University and ended up in Seattle. 

He has made it most of the way through the immigration process. Now he’s now wading through the questions of the U.S. Application for Naturalization.  Click or tap on the photos above to see his answers. 

Experimental musicians push the boundaries of music with agony and silence

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of Yiling Huang

What do you consider music? How about pieces using only one note, agonizing electronic sounds, or no music at all? Today, we challenge the constructs we have about what music should be by exploring the extremes of experimental music.

Lost in translation: growing up Latin-ish

Aug 2, 2017
KUOW photo/April Reyes

Radioactive’s Isabella Ortiz and Diego Villarroel discuss the complexities of ethnic and cultural identity, speaking from their own experiences as a part of the latinx community. Neither of them learned Spanish growing up, and they share how intimidating it can feel to discover their cultures as young adults.

Dr. Anisa Ibrahim with her two children
Courtesy of Anisa Ibrahim

My cousin Anisa Ibrahim is 30 years old. She’s funny, kind, and compassionate, and an amazing sister, mother, and doctor. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she came to America when she was 6 years old and has accomplished so much since then. 


The author (left) with her mother, Maria Espinoza, at the Womxn's March on Seattle in January 2017.
COURTESY OF MILLA ESPINOZA

When my mom, Maria Espinoza, came to the United States from Russia at age 13, it was toward the end of the Cold War, and some Americans were openly hostile to Russians. 


Welcome KUOW's Summer 2017 RadioActive youth producers

Jul 18, 2017
Row 1: Carlin Bills, Aliyah Musaliar, Abay Estifanos and Zeytun Ahmed. Row 2: Jessie Nguyen, Isabella Ortiz, Diego Villarroel and Patrick Liu.
KUOW

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media is proud to offer our summer journalism workshop. Eight teens, aged 16-18, will spend six weeks learning what it means to be a journalist.

Emiliano with his girlfriend Trista
COURTESY OF EMILIANO ALÁRCON

It was a warm summer evening. I could feel the sun on my back. I was sitting at the edge of a highway bridge.

The sounds of cars rolled both behind and under me as I looked down at what looked like my own final resting place. 


Huyen-Tran Phung at a RadioActive event.
KUOW Photo

Before I went on this eye-opening journey, I was like any other teenager who thought they knew everything. Sometimes, we just don’t realize how much our environment shapes our beliefs. 


The author, right, with his teacher, Shawn Kamp.
Courtesy of Nate Martin

Sometimes it feels like we’re missing something in our lives. And sometimes we find what we’re looking for when we least expect it. Kind of like what happened to me.


On the first day of eighth grade, a boy walked up to me and asked if I had a bomb in my backpack.


Courtesy of Clayressa Borland

As I walked up to her house in Tacoma, Clayressa Borland met me with a tight hug. We hadn’t seen each other in two years, so we couldn’t stop smiling.

We met in a psychiatric hospital. 


Courtesy of Dylan Rae Metcalfe

Growing up, Dylan Rae Metcalfe could do whatever she wanted.  

“My mom let me do all kinds of sideways shit,” she said. “Like, if I wanted to smoke pot or drink or smoke cigarettes or have sex or whatever, my mom allowed it ‘as long as it's happening in the house.’ That was awesome to me.”


Arvie Lynn Cabral with her son Riley
Courtesy of Riley Collins

My mom and I are kind of the same person. Look at our muddy little eyes and how they crinkle when we smile. And our thick black hair, which we keep tied on top of our round heads. And our freckles, scattered on our wide cheeks.  


My mom knew she was going to lose her hair when she went to chemotherapy, so she got it cut and made into this wig.
Courtesy of Jad Vianu

My mom’s hair has always been a source of pride for her.

Poet Hamda Yusuf says Somali poetry 'is the poetry that you have to hear. And you have to hear it from the person who wrote it.'
Courtesy of Hamda Yusuf

When Hamda Yusuf was growing up in West Seattle, her mom used to recite original poems for her children in the car.

"I remember my dad telling me Somalia is the nation of poets and I always knew this to be true... because I know nobody else's mom is writing them poems," Yusuf said. 

What King County students and teachers would like to see in schools

Apr 1, 2017
student studying
Flickr photo/CollegeDegrees360 (CC BY 2.0)/ HTTP://BIT.LY/2nez3Za

​RadioActive's Emiliano Alarcon, Nate Martin and Ayub Weheliye discuss the different schools they attend and what they want out of our public education system. They ask King County students and teachers what they would like to change in their school systems.

What could they possibly want to change? Only one way to find out.


Pages