RadioActive Youth Media

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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!

A pep talk from a recovering 'lazy' teen

Jun 20, 2016
Diana Nguyen used to be lazy. Then she got on a bike.
KUOW Photo/Melissa Takai

Meet Diana Nguyen. She's 17-years-old, she's a proud Asian-American, and she can't go anywhere without her best friend, Gertrude. Gertrude is the name of her bike.

KUOW Photo / Feven Mekonenn

We all remember the influential teacher who made a difference in our lives. But for Drego Little, the teacher that changed his life was the one he hated most.


Tori Zivkovic / KUOW

People sometimes take unlikely paths to get where they're going. This is the story of an unlikely scholar.

This is what a concussion sounds like

Jun 20, 2016
Despite missing much of her freshman year of high school because of a concussion, Daisy Emminger will be attending the New School in New York this fall.
KUOW Photo/Conor Gormally

A school assembly on the first day at Garfield High School sounds like this:

But to Daisy Emminger, a Seattle freshman suffering from a concussion, it sounded like this:

"It was just overwhelming," Emminger said. "And painful." 


What it's like to be young and queer in Seattle

Jun 2, 2016
A banner advertising the Queer-Straight Alliance at Interlake High School in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Mimansa Dogra

The majority of American youth age 13-20 don't identify as completely straight, and most know someone who uses a gender neutral pronoun, according to a recent study. On our Pride month podcast, high school students dive into what it means to be young and queer in Seattle.

Courtesy of Kamna Shastri

I’m the black sheep in my family.

Scratch that - I’m actually more of a white sheep.

Here’s what a family photo would look like: my mom, dad, and brother, each with their own wonderful shade of brown. And then there’s me: pale, white, and blond haired.

What Can Schools And Students Learn From Each Other?

Apr 6, 2016
RadioActive hosts Paul Kiefer and Hassan Abdi.
KUOW Photo/Jenny Asarnow

RadioActive youth producers take a look at one of the most important things in their lives: school.

They explore the transition from high school to college and look at the impact RadioActive's Ahlaam Ibraahim had on her high school, Rainier Beach.

"We have the right to have our voices heard at our own schools," said host Hassan Abdi. This month's podcast examines the important - and sometimes tenuous - relationship between schools and students. 

Welcome KUOW's Spring 2016 RadioActive Youth Producers

Mar 28, 2016
Spring 2016 RadioActive youth producers
KUOW

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media is proud to offer our spring journalism workshop at the Southwest Library in partnership with Seattle Public Library.

Six teens, aged 16-18, will spend 12 weeks learning what it means to be a journalist. During that time, they'll gain the skills to create radio stories. They'll do all of the research, interviews, writing, voicing and editing to produce their own feature stories on topics of their choice.

Learn more about this group of producers:

Won't You Be My Neighbor? An Audio Portrait of Seattle's Neighborhoods

Mar 2, 2016
Queen Anne hill in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/craterdweller (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5tqcxH

Neighborhoods shape our perspectives and our personalities. They become a part of us, an identity we carry even if we leave. On the latest RadioActive podcast, our youth producers asked people around the Seattle area to share their thoughts about  their neighborhoods and got a wide variety of responses.

"My favorite thing is the diversity." 

"I would stop the drugs and get more parks for the kids."

"It's very desolate." 

"We usually keep to ourselves." 

"Everyone in our neighborhood is somehow related to me." 

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington in 2011.
Flickr Photo/Dave Lichterman (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1JzkR7A

Just a few weeks ago we and everybody else were talking about Macklemore's new song, "White Privilege II." It's uncomfortable on purpose, almost nine minutes grappling with Black Lives Matter movement, white privilege and racial guilt. Is Macklemore's young, white audience tuning in or heading for the exits? RadioActive youth producer Nina Tran talked to fan Rachel Davey on Friday night at Macklemore and Ryan Lewis show on Capitol Hill.

I Was An Unlikely Homeschooled Student

Feb 25, 2016
Elinor Jones Toutant at the RadioActive Community Listening Party
KUOW Photo/Colleen McDevitt

Even though I didn’t attend traditional school for very long, I didn’t enjoy the little I attended. When I was in kindergarten, there were mornings I would flat out refuse to go to school.

“By the end of your kindergarten year, you, your dad and I were all pretty tired of it," my mom, Jean Jones Toutant, said.  "We decided we would give you the option to take a break and stay home."

How My Bookworm Sister Left Our Refugee Camp

Feb 18, 2016
A woman named Kamin and her six children lived in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where Faisa Muse, the producer of this story, also lived before moving to Seattle. The woman had been separated from her husband during the conflict in Somalia.
Flickr Photo/European Commission

My sister Nasteha Muse fought hard to get an education.

We grew up in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Our parents migrated there because of the conflict in Somalia, where they are from. Nasteha remembers the camp as "very harsh, dusty and hot." 

Colleen McDevitt / KUOW

Editor’s note: KUOW has omitted Fallon’s last name to protect the teen’s privacy.

When I was in middle school, I was like any other nerdy teen. I was in honors classes. I was getting straight As. I remember seeing my friends at the library every day. We would talk about Japanese anime and videogames and other stuff we liked.

What Does Colorism Look Like In Seattle?

Feb 5, 2016
RadioActive youth producers Ahlaam Ibraahim and Esa Tilija. Ibraahim says 'when you're born, they call you a lighty, and it's praised.'
Courtesy of Esa Tilija

"When you're born, they call you a lighty, and it's praised," said Ahlaam Ibraahim, one of the hosts on this month's RadioActive podcast. She along with Esa Tilija explore the world of colorism. They interview fellow Seattleites to find out what they know about it and share stories from their own communities. 

Plus, hear Kamna Shastri's story about her perspective on colorism as an Indian-American with albinism. "Just seeing people like Nina Davuluri or Mindy Kaling reminds me of everything I want and can't attain," she said.

These Are My Mom's Beautiful, Painful Hands

Feb 3, 2016
KUOW Photo / Shina Williams

I told my mom one day that I thought she was a very headstrong woman.

“What do you mean ‘strong?’” she asked me.

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