Sanda Htyte is Radio Rookies Associate Producer. She has been with Radio Rookies since interning at the Elmhurst workshop in summer of 2005. She is also a freelance video producer, director, editor and a CUNY Professor. While interning at Radio Rookies, Sanda was completing her MFA in documentary producing. Having studied both video and radio production at her Alma Mater, Brooklyn College, CUNY, she was asked to teach introduction to radio production as Adjunct Professor in Fall of 2006 as well as Spring 2007.
It was by chance that Sanda enrolled in a radio production class. She had no idea just how fulfilling this would turn out to be. This one class had made a remarkable impression, and led her to pursue a career not only in video, but also in radio. Video did not kill the radio this time. She lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
At the 3rd Annual NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival: NewsHive @ St. Joseph's College youth came together to produce, report, and make their own stories in just 10 hours.
In 2011, the New York Police Department made more than 120,000 stops of black and Latino kids between the ages of 14 and 18.
Danielle was 13-years-old when she left her home and her mother in the Congo. She came to New York hoping to pursue the American dream, but she wound up living in a shelter. Hear why Danielle keeps the truth about her life in America to herself - even though it means lying to her mother.
New York state has the worst four-year high school graduation rate in the country. But when you zero in on New York City, the rates are even worse, especially for black males, with only 28 percent graduating from public high school in four years in 2010. Radio Rookie Mike Brown, 18, is a young black man growing up in Harlem and being raised by a single mom.
Four Radio Rookies, who are all very recent immigrants from the Caribbean, now attend high school in the heart of what was the epicenter of the Crown Heights riots 20 years ago. But, as newcomers, the Rookies know nothing about the neighborhood’s fraught history.
Joey Rizzolo was six years old when he watched the events of September 11th 2001 on the news, while folding laundry with his grandma in his living room. At the time, Joey didn't understand the larger meaning of what was happening, other than planes hitting buildings. Even though he had no personal connection to 9/11, at the age of 11 Joey decided to initiate a Freedom Walk to help residents of his town, Paramus, NJ, remember and honor the victims of 9/11. Joey organizes the event with a committee of teenagers, who carry out all the fundraising, organizing, and publicity. Last year's Freedom Walk drew almost 1,000 people.
To comment on Joey's story, you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is the first of the Radio Rookies series Our 9/11: Growing Up In the Aftermath. Jillian Suarez’s story is one she says she doesn't want to tell with tears. Jillian’s father, a New York City police officer, didn't come home on September 11th and for three months her mother held out hope he would be found alive -- until she received a call that his remains had been found. Now 18 years old, Jillian rarely speaks about the loss she feels. For this piece, she decided to push through her silence to sit down with some of the closest people in her life, including her mom, to talk about her father’s death and what his absence has meant in her life.
Over the years Tim has fought, sometimes physically, with his family and struggled to become who he wants to be. He's been diagnosed with everything from ADD, ADHD, PTSD, depression, to bipolar disorder. But he doesn't think any of those labels fit him. In fact, Tim's not sure he's mentally ill at all. And if he is, he's not sure he wants to know about it.
Half of Radio Rookie Alicia Martinez's family members are U.S. citizens, the other half are not. Her parents and older sister came to the U.S. illegally before she was born. Alicia knows – from her sister – how hard it is to grow up in the U.S. without legal papers, but she also finds it stressful to be the lucky one: the daughter with all the opportunities. As one of three U.S. citizens in her family, Alicia has struggled to meet her parents' expectations and overcome the guilt she feels that her hardworking sister’s life is so limited.
About two thirds of New Yorkers are from immigrant families. And when parents - who came here from other countries - raise American children, they face all kinds of choices about which cultural norms to follow. That's the case in Radio Rookie Andrea Lee Torres' family. Her parents came here from the Philippines in the 1990s. And she's not sure she agrees with at least one decision they made - not to teach her their language.
18 year old Caribbean American, Rayon Wright, who was born in Jamaica, West Indies and raised in Brooklyn. Though Rayon grew up surrounded with Jamaican culture and music, he wants more than anything to become a producer of Korean music and entertainment. A lot of non-Asian teenagers like Hello Kitty or Japanese Anime, but Rayon's love for Asian culture goes far beyond that.
Video Games! Millions of people play some form of them - from Farmville on Facebook to more complex games on consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and the most popular, Wii. Industry experts say forty percent of all game players are female, players of hardcore games like Grand Theft Auto are mostly male. That means the games are designed with boys and men in mind -- and 17-year-old Radio Rookie Jessica Cernadas finds that very frustrating.
This fall, we began a new broadcast workshop in Flushing, Queens in partnership with the Flushing YMCA. During the past month, the Rookies have started to roll through their lessons, putting their new skills to practice. They are well on their way to making their radio documentaries.
One of the Rookies asked me 'why is it that we have to throw the party on a brick cold day?' But, despite the arctic temperature and the wind chill factor Rookies from past and present showed up. We all came together and celebrated being a part of the Rookies family for the past 10 years and looking ahead to many more years.
I felt like such a hypocrite. Here I am in Queens, challenging the teens to find a sense of connection to their community, possibly eradicate their assumptions, and change their views about the place, while I think to myself 'me? Start a radio workshop in Queens? How dreadful! Love the kids, just not Queens - it's my least favorite borough.' Come on! Can Queens really be anyone's favorite borough? But after the 5 weeks long workshop, these kids and their stories about flushing made me reevaluate.
The third round of Short Wave Rookies comes from Queens, NY. We collaborated with Mapping Main Street, a documentary project that set out to tell the stories of all the Main Streets in the United States.
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Until recently all Victoria (Vikky) Cruz knew was that her mother was sick. Her mother hasn't been able to walk in years, can barely speak and goes into rages, but no one ever told Vikky why. Now, at 17-years-old, Vikky struggles to cope with her mother's illness, a rare gentetic disease called neuroacanthytosis, and the ways it's taken over the mother she once knew.
Like most of the kids in her school and on her block, 16 year old Josetta Adams used to listen to hip-hop music. But, when Josetta slipped into a depression, she started to listen to rock music that matched her mood. She also began painting her nails black and wearing t-shirts adorned with skulls. Her way of expressing her feelings went against the norms of her family and her community, quickly labeling her as different and even as far as calling her a "sell-out". Depression is an uncomfortable topic for anyone, but amongst an African-American family it can be taboo. Josetta is no longer depressed but she wants to figure out why her family, friends, and community have a difficult time understanding her way of expressing herself and why it's hard to talk about these feelings of sadness in her family and community.
Keith Harris had a secret when he started school in the U.S. for the first time: he didn't know how to read and write. After falling through the cracks of the educational system in Guyana, he decided to confide in his 9th grade English teacher at his Brooklyn high school. Now a successful and literate high school senior, Keith's story takes us into his journey to literacy.