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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!

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.


Do you believe the stars influence your life?

Mar 23, 2017
starry night
Flickr photo/Csaba Berze (CC BY 2.0) HTTP://BIT.LY/2nNkTTz

Some people check their horoscopes and where the planets are positioned every day, while others think it's all "quack babble." 

RadioActive youth producers Livi Thrift and Mimi Hubbard explore what has drawn people to zodiac signs for thousands of years across different cultures. 


How to keep young readers from ditching Dickens and chucking Chaucer

Mar 18, 2017
books
KUOW Photo/Soraya Marashi

Breaking up with Shakespeare? Done with Dickens?  Between misrepresentations, boring language, and distracting covers, reading classical literature can seem like a chore. Join RadioActivians Soraya Marashi and Zuheera Ali as they explore youth’s broken relationship with classical literature and how we can help mend the ties.


‘We want youth out of the criminal justice system’

Feb 16, 2017
KUOW Photo / Natalie Newcomb

“April, do you think youth easily get away with committing crimes?

“In certain cases, yes, because adults think that we’re still learning right from wrong. What do you think, Melissa?”

“To be honest, I don’t think so. I always hear about young people getting into trouble on nationwide news or at school.”

In the RadioActive podcast, hosts Melissa Takai and April Reyes share their thoughts and experiences about the criminal justice system. 


Welcome KUOW's Spring 2017 After-School RadioActive youth producers

Feb 2, 2017
Row 1: Hanni Hassan, Soraya Marashi, Tran Phung and Livi Thrift.  Row 2: Nate Martin, Ayub Weheliye, Mimi Hubbard and Emiliano Alarcon. Row 3: Milla Espinoza, Zuheera Ali and Riley Collins.
KUOW

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media is proud to offer our afterschool Introduction to Radio Journalism workshop at the New Holly Family Center in southeast Seattle, in partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority. Eleven teens, aged 16-18, will spend 14 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.

KUOW Photo / Rachel Lam

    

The day I arrived at Oceti Sakowin, I felt like I had come home. 

How do Seattle youth feel about a President Trump? Disbelief, stress, and for some, relief

Jan 18, 2017
KUOW Photo

"The day of the election, I felt like I was not wanted in this country. Period."

"Trump actually, I believe, cares about people."

"It is real. This is not a nightmare."


Rachel Lam

KUOW’s RadioActive youth producer Rachel Lam was on the front lines at Standing Rock, North Dakota last week, where thousands of people are protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers says they have to leave their biggest camp by Monday, December 5

What does a booming Seattle mean for young people?

Oct 21, 2016
Downtown Seattle
Flickr Photo/Jeffrey Scott Will (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://www.flickr.com/photos/cactus22minus1/24611507186/

By definition, growing pains are the problems that are experienced as something grows larger or more successful -- and there's no doubt that Seattle has been experiencing that in recent years. But has this city really become more successful? And what do these changes mean for young people? 

Courtesy of Maya Konz

When I was younger I was open about being adopted.

During show-and-tell in preschool, I shared moon cakes with my classmates to celebrate Chinese New Year. My parents were with me to explain to everyone that I was born in China and adopted at 10 months old.


The scariest thing about heroin? 'You're gonna love it'

Oct 19, 2016
Alyssa started using heroin when she was 14. She’s now 20 and works as a daycare teacher.
Flickr photo / B.A.D. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradadozier/

When she was 10 years old, Alyssa found the spot where her parents hid the alcohol. The moment it touched her lips, she was addicted to that escape. (Her last name is being withheld to protect her privacy).


Omar Ali with his family. Omar is standing fourth form the left holding his daughter.
Courtesy of Awal Ibrahim

Recently, my whole family got together to celebrate my sister’s graduation. Everyone was very excited.

But my family wasn’t always all together here in Seattle. My uncle Omar Ali is responsible for us being together at this exact moment.

Courtesy of April Reyes

This is me and my family. My mom, my dad, brother, and sister. (Not pictured: cats.) 

Six months ago, they were just strangers. And six months ago, I was homeless and couch surfing. I worked about 35 hours a week at Panda Express while attending school full time. I was a junior in high school, 16 years old. 

My dad's Cinderella story: Finding love in Somalia

Sep 28, 2016
Courtesy of Zubeyda Ahmed

My dad's life story is kind of like Cinderella’s. 

My dad, Abdul-Basit Hassan, grew up without a mom, worked for an evil relative and found his princess in the least expected way. 


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.


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