Samr “Rocky” Tayeh was first introduced to journalism when he joined Radio Rookies in 2003 and produced the radio documentary "My Struggle with Obesity," which won an honorable mention at the 2005 Third Coast Audio Festival. The audience and media response to his personal account of living as a fat teenager put Rocky at the center of the public discussion about the national childhood obesity epidemic.
Rocky has appeared in numerous print articles and television shows, including documentaries on The Food Network and PBS, both airing in 2007. Since Rocky's first story aired, he has produced three additional radio pieces for WNYC and NPR (on topics other than his weight). Rocky is 19, a freshman in college, and studying broadcast journalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York .
Tuesday, the board of supervisors in Santa Clara County, California, decided to take a step further in the fight against obesity: they banned toy giveaways with kids' meals that don't meet certain nutritional standards. (Overall calorie count and salt content chief among them.) This is the latest attempt in a series of measures taken by counties, cities and states to combat obesity, and is widely seen as specifically targeting McDonalds' Happy Meals.
Today we hear from Samr “Rocky” Tayeh, who first went on the radio in 2003 to report on his life as an obese teenager. Since then, Rocky had weight loss surgery and dropped 300 pounds. Now he’s trying out some of the things that were impossible for someone so overweight, like learning how to ride a bike.
This week Radio Rookies is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and checking in with some of the past Rookies.
WNYC’s Radio Rookies program takes listeners inside the most intimate moments of teenager’s lives. Now, for the first time, we present a special, “Growing Up, Getting By”, an hour of stories and interviews about how teenagers find their way to adulthood.
As a little kid, Samr "Rocky" Tayeh was the adorable, chubby boy at home; but at school classmates called him "Barney", the big purple dinosaur. Rocky didn't hide in a corner and wait for the bullying to stop, he learned how to use his sharp tongue to shut other kids down, but sometimes he takes it too far. Rocky heads out to a park in Brooklyn to talk with kids about how they survive teasing.
Radio Rookie Rocky Tayeh reports on the City Council's latest effort to improve education in NYC – a hearing held especially for students to testify about the state of their schools.
By the time Samr “Rocky” Tayeh was a senior in high school, he weighed more than 500 pounds. He needed special desks in all his classrooms and an elevator pass to get up a few flights of stairs. His family continually pressured him to lose weight – something he felt utterly incapable of doing -- and he felt like a “monster.” So, two months before his high school graduation, Rocky made a decision to have weight loss surgery and to – as he saw it -- “save his life.”
The New York City subway system is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Midwood Graduate Rookie Samr "Rocky" Tayeh reports on what subways mean to teenagers in the city.
Midwood is a neighborhood that has a growing Muslim immigrant community. Three Muslim boys from the Midwood workshop, two Pakistani and one Palestinian, reflect on what it's like for them living in America.
Fifteen-year old Rocky, a Palestinian American, lives with his parents and siblings in Brooklyn. Rocky's story is about his emotional struggle with obesity. Three times the size of his twin sister, Rocky is the target of many of his siblings' jokes and insults.