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

Oct 19, 2016
Alyssa Gaudinier started using heroin when she was 14. She’s now 20 and works as a daycare teacher. Here she is before and after she got clean.
Courtesy of Alyssa Gaudinier

When she was 10 years old, Alyssa Gaudinier found the spot where her parents hid the alcohol. The moment it touched her lips, she was addicted to that escape.

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."

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.

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.

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." 

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.

When Rehab Interrupts Your Senior Year

Sep 9, 2015
Anna Konsmo (left) and Payton Curtis in 2014 before their senior year of high school. They stayed close while Curtis spent part of her senior year in a rehab facility.
Courtesy of Payton Curtis

Anna Konsmo and best friend Payton Curtis are talking and laughing. They laugh together a lot.

Konsmo and Curtis, both 18, treasure that relationship even more now: Curtis spent part of her senior high school year in rehab for alcohol and drug abuse.

For Whitney Bischoff, high school was tough. On the first day of her freshman year, a childhood friend committed suicide. Things weren't any better at home — her father died when she was 7 and her mom was an alcoholic with an abusive boyfriend.

She had a hard time making friends.

And when all the stress threatened to overwhelm her, she, too, considered suicide.

"I thought family was everything," Bischoff says. "I thought, if I didn't have family support – what am I going to do? Suicide seemed like the only way out."

This week officials are gathering in Washington to discuss how to counter extremist messages, particularly those from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

ISIS has been luring thousands of Westerners to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. The number of Americans who have traveled to Syria is still relatively small — in the neighborhood of 150 people — and a thin slice of that group, perhaps as many as two dozen Americans, are thought to have joined ISIS.


Kids can be cruel.

But homophobic bullying can be particularly cruel.

“We had one young person who was in the changing rooms before going into a sports lesson, and somebody pulled their pants down,” says Amelia Lee, the director of LGBT Youth North West, a charity group based in Manchester, England. “We’ve had people have things stolen from them, being beaten up, being chased home, having eggs pelted at them.”

Twelve years into a struggle with bulimia and anorexia, Jessie Joachim says she still feels guilty whenever she tells her therapist out loud that she has purged a meal.

What happens in a small, semi-rural community in a southern state when an "out" transgender student decides to speak up for his civil rights?

Here in Gloucester County, Virginia, where I live — not far from the Historic Triangle of Yorktown-Williamsburg-Jamestown — the answer is that all hell breaks loose.

In April, residents of Louisa County, Va., were shocked to learn of a sexting "ring" among the town's teenagers. When Hanna Rosin asked teens from Louisa County High School how many people they knew who had sexted, a lot of them replied: "Everyone." But what was originally characterized in the media as an organized criminal affair was soon revealed to be widespread teen behavior.

"I think we as a culture don't know whether to be utterly alarmed by sexting, or think of it as a normal part of teenage sexual experimentation," Rosin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

"Always remember to use protection" is a fairly straightforward message for sexually active teens. But young women have a lot of options when it comes to the types of protection they can choose to use.

Young Seattleites Feel Limited By Lack Of All-Ages Live Music

Sep 2, 2014
KUOW Photo/Noah Phillips Reardon

At Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party this July, a crowd at the Main Stage was waiting for hip-hop artist ASAP Ferg to come out. The crowd was chanting and everyone was excited.

"There's a lot of emotions attached to music that you don't get with talking to somebody or going down the street," observed Mila Widmayer, 16. She's a singer and a volunteer at the Vera Project, an all-ages concert venue. "Music just affects your life in ways that other things can't."