Courtney began working with young people in Minneapolis, where she started a youth-run restaurant in the park across the street from her apartment. She moved to New York to study social work but ended up making the jump to radio soon after hearing a Radio Rookies story one day on her Walkman. Courtney trained at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine and interned at StoryCorps and American RadioWorks before joining Radio Rookies as a producer in 2007. Now she assists in teaching radio and multimedia workshops and works alongside Rookie Reporters to produce stories for WNYC.org and WNYC Radio.
This animated short is part of a toolkit of DIY videos we’re creating in partnership with the Hive NYC Learning Network. Educators can use this DIY to teach students of all ages to report stories about their own lives.
These days, many teenagers live half their lives on social media sites, and they're writing the rules as they go. One online trend 16-year-old Radio Rookie Temitayo Fagbenle finds disturbing is something she calls "slut-shaming," or using photos and videos to turn a girl's private life inside out.
Radio Rookies hosted an in-class live chat to coincide with a new story about sexual cyberbullying. Rookie Reporter Temitayo Fagbenle hosted a facilitated online conversation for high school students to discuss the issues her story brings to light.
Staten Island was one of the areas hit hard by massive flooding from Sandy. Among the people that stayed, was the family of 17-year-old Tasina Berkey, a current Radio Rookie. Her family, like many of their neighbors, never experienced flooding like this before.
Two Radio Rookie reporters got a chance to sit down with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to discuss the tactics of his police force and its impact in the community.
Five Radio Rookies walked the streets of the Bronx recently to learn more about how residents of the borough, which is 90 percent black and Latino, interact with the police. They then sat down the the city's police commissioner to ask him about community relations.
Growing up, my parents used to tell me to stay away from the projects. They said they were dangerous, and they’re right: about 20 percent of violent crime happens in public housing.
Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world.
I was shocked to hear about what happened to Trayvon Martin, but I wasn’t surprised that he was targeted because he was a black kid in a hooded sweatshirt. I wear a hoodie everyday, and I know when I walk through certain neighborhoods and see a cop that I’m probably going to get stopped.
After the death of Osama Bin Laden, young people took to the streets in droves to celebrate and a lot of discussion ensued in the media about a "9/11 Generation", the young people who came of age after the attacks. Brendan was a first-grader in suburban New Jersey on September 11th, 2001, and he has only vague memories of that day. Even so, he feels shaped by the events and their aftermath and hopes to join the military. His younger siblings, who don't remember 9/11, feel little connection to it. Brendan reports on whether or not his peers and younger siblings feel that 9/11 impacted their world view.
"Nothing's ever permanent in foster care" is how Rookie Reporter Michael Jacobson describes his life in the system. Just when he thinks things are settling down, he gets yet another case worker or must move to a new home. In fact, Michael has lived in seven different homes in just four years. Teenagers are the most difficult foster kids to place in homes, and Michael's story gives listeners a chance to hear first-hand why that's the case.
What does it mean for young people to come out in the age of Lady Gaga? Bebe tells her uncle that she's bisexual, but as a gay man who struggled with harassment and bullying through his whole childhood, he suspects Bebe is just trying to be cool and doesn't understand the weight of her words.
17-year-old Radio Rookie Edwin Llanos has grown up in neighborhoods where police officers stop and search kids all the time -- and a lot of those kids don’t trust cops to help when they're in need. Last year, when Edwin got into a tough situation, he wasn't sure who to turn to.
Radio Rookie Alexis Gordon's dad has been in the Army Reserves since before she was born. He served a tour in Iraq when she was in the 5th grade and was recently deployed again to the war in Afghanistan. 18-year-old Alexis is struggling to understand her dad's decision to stay in the Army and go back to the Middle East.
Radio Rookie AJ Frazier spent his 8th grade year reporting on the effect of New York City's public school policy changes on him. His story was just featured in Schooled: Teens' Stories About American Public Education. This hour-long youth produced special is a collaboration between Seattle's KUOW and Generation PRX.
Rookie Reporter Irina was born in Belarus 6 years after the Chernobyl disaster. Belarus bore the brunt of the radiation fallout and her family moved to the Bronx to escape the contamination. Now, Irina and her family attribute many of their health problems to the radiation.
Last year, the New York City Department of Education raised the standards for passing the 8th grade and ended social promotion--the practice of letting failing students matriculate to keep them with their peers. Radio Rookie AJ Frazier has always just skated by, so this meant he needed to change his ways. AJ reports on how the higher standards impact his work ethic and explores the shady line between getting promoted or being left behind.
When Kaari, Sanda and I walk into the Next Generation Center, the home of our current Bronx workshop, it's like walking into a house party. Hip hop and rap deejayed by kids from the center thumps just a little too loud. I keep thinking some adult is going to put the kabosh on this, but they don't seem phased.