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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!

KUOW Photo / Amy Styer

"Hiiiii!" 

I open the magenta door to the Lambert House, a place on Seattle's Capitol Hill where queer youth are free to be themselves.

  

Sam struggled with depression in middle school.
KUOW Photo/Natalie Newcomb

Sam, 17, has a bright smile and is always making  her friends laugh.

But in seventh grade, Sam struggled. She was trying to figure out her role in the social ladder, and her parents were fighting, and she was feeling extremely sad.


Surya Hendry

Meet Grace Zheng.

She's a 16-year-old volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium, where she chatters away to visitors about the scientific exhibits: "This is a jaw from a sixgill shark," she says, noting, "You can see how its teeth are serrated."


'How can I claim Ethiopia as my country when they oppress my people?'

Aug 8, 2016
KUOW Photo / Paul Kiefer

"Wiping someone's identity away ... is very dangerous."

That's how many Oromos feel. On our podcast today, Oromos in Seattle talk about being Oromo in America and their fears about the current human rights violations against Oromos in Ethiopia. 


Free will vs. fate: Who’s in control?

Aug 3, 2016
KUOW/Amy Styer

Do you believe that we have control over our future, or is it predestined? In today's podcast, Radioactivians Amy Styer and Brian Freeland uncover the various viewpoints on a concept that has been boggling minds for centuries: Fate.

Girls, don’t be embarrassed. Period.

Aug 2, 2016
Hosts April Reyes and Maya Konz.
KUOW Photo

Meet a girl who thought eating chicken caused her to bleed, and other stories of peoples' first periods. Hear leak stories and the perspective from people who don't get a period. It's natural, you shouldn't be embarrassed! 

This podcast was produced in RadioActive's Intro to Journalism Workshop for 16-18-year-olds. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

Who dressed you this morning?

Aug 1, 2016
Natalie Newcomb and Surya Hendry contemplate fashion in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo/Amy Styer

Did you dress yourself this morning, or did an entire industry?

Today, RadioActive's Surya Hendry and Natalie Newcomb phone fashion professors, scroll through statistics, and get an inside view on the future of fashion, trying to answer one big question: Do teenagers control trends, or does the fashion industry control what teenagers wear?

Why do(n't) we like horror?

Jul 28, 2016
Hosts Amy Styer and April Reyes.
KUOW Photo/Lila Kitaeff

Hosts April Reyes and Amy Styer love all things horror, but don't know why. Together in this podcast, they explore the many ways in which humans experience fear. They discuss people's greatest fears, and ask people about their personal experiences with nightmares and horror movies. 

The best of times, worst of times, and first of times

Jul 28, 2016
RadioActive podcast hosts Maya Konz and Surya Hendry.
KUOW Photo/Lila Kitaeff

What does it take to become an adult? RadioActivians Maya Konz and Surya Hendry set out to discover the meaning of growing up by interviewing a Bat Mitzvah veteran, first-time voters, and survivors of first-date awkwardness.

This podcast was produced in RadioActive's Intro to Journalism Workshop for 16-18-year-olds. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

Black youth in Seattle have a message for the police

Jul 27, 2016
The hosts of this podcast, Zubeyda Ahmed and Awal Ibraahim.
KUOW Photo

Seattleites give their perspectives on the recent police brutality issues in the media and weigh in on the Black Lives Matter movement. Then, black youth of Seattle use their platform to speak their mind on these issues that directly concern them.

Meet the new generation of radio journalists!

Jul 25, 2016
RadioActive's 2016 summer workshop participants at Pike Place Market.
KUOW Photo/Lila Kitaeff

Summer has started, which means there are now eight new RadioActive journalists at KUOW. Natalie and Brian took up the first podcast for this group and they are here to introduce you to everyone's fun personalities!

By the way, do you know what "prolegomena" means? Can you pronounce it?

Welcome KUOW's Summer 2016 RadioActive Youth Producers

Jul 22, 2016
Summer 2016 RadioActive youth producers
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.

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 and podcasts on topics of their choice.

Noel Gasca poses for a graduation shot with her father, Rick Gasca, and mother, Kim Chapman.
Courtesy of Noel Gasca

On a sunny morning during my junior year of high school  I was taking the SAT, when I got to a question that left me stumped. 

It basically asked, "What race are you?"

RadioActive producer Jad Vianu with his father Alec Vianu
Courtesy of Jad Vianu

When I was growing up, I always had a vague idea of where he had come from. But as I got older and was able to understand more, I realized that my dad's story was absolutely incredible.


Courtesy of Hanad Jama

Who are helpers? Often it's people who know how much it means to be helped.

Like my mother, Nimo Husien. She runs a daycare from our house for single mothers and immigrant families. Why? Because she was once a single mother and a refugee. It was hard for her, but now she wants to give back.


Tori Zivkovic / KUOW

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


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.


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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