It’s no secret that a lot of teenagers love sneakers. But for some kids, their passion for kicks consumes hours each day, and hundreds of dollars every season. “Sneakerheads”, as they call themselves, will queue up overnight to be the first to buy a limited edition pair of Jordans. Radio Rookies Josh and Kyrie routinely try to convince their mothers to shell out $200-$300 for a new pair of shoes, which are walking markers of status for many teens, while Rookie Gibran finds the whole thing over the top. The three Rookies take listeners inside the wonderful and colorful world of Sneakerheads.
At East Side Community School homophobia isn’t tolerated. Kids say that teasing and bullying are rare and when it does happen, teachers and fellow students get involved to stop it. The school has an active gay-straight alliance club, “Rainbow Bright”, and teachers strive to be inclusive in their curricula and language. But not all schools are so supportive of LGTBQ students and homophobia is everywhere. Four East Side students want to find out what actually helps homophobic people change their minds to become more accepting.
Grisel speaks Spanish at home with her mom in NYC, and during the summers with her dad and cousins in Puerto Rico. She never thought it was a gift to be bilingual, but her close friend Aura had a very different experience. Aura’s Chilean parents chose to speak English with her when she was a little girl and, as a result, she can’t speak Spanish or communicate easily with her grandparents. Aura longs to have Spanish tumble easily out of her mouth and she wonders why her parents made the choice to teach her English first.
Radio Rookies Sam and Sydne both grew up in New York City and are used to hearing the polyglot of language that makes up the fabric of this city. The multitude of languages spoken in their communities has never bothered Sam (who speaks Spanish with her parents) or Sydne, which is why they are dismayed by the “English-only” movement and people who express anger over having to “push 1 for English” on automated phone calls. But when some people in their own school and even families express a similar sentiment they decide to dig a little deeper.
“Every time I say something, it doesn’t sound right. It sounds like gibberish, random words put together,” Radio Rookie Aura Briceno narrates in her co-reported story Losing Language, “but I’m trying now, for my grandmother.” While Aura’s Chilean parents spoke to her in English growing up, fellow Rookie Reporter Grisel Isidor spoke Spanish at home, English in school, and now slips easily between the two. Aura and Grisel's story was one of five pieces celebrated at the Radio Rookies listening party and graduation on Tuesday, July 18th at WNYC.
We have rough drafts of the stories! It’s always satisfying after all the interviews and logging audio, to have something in a rough form, something to respond to and shape.
As 17-year-old Temityao Fagbenle puts it, "Once you reach high school, weed is a part of your life." Even if you don't smoke, marijuana is at parties, the corners and parks near schools, and sometimes in school stairwells. Radio Rookies Temitayo Fagbenle and Gemma Weiner spent the past several months talking to dozens of teenagers who smoke weed about where they buy it, how much they spend on it, and how they think about risk. Their story airs May 9th, listen here.
Over a decade ago, I was a Radio Rookie myself. A lot has happened since then -- high school, college, and various jobs -- but I recently found myself drawn back to radio as an intern. Throughout the last few months, I have had the opportunity to help lead the Short Wave multimedia workshop, an after school program held in two high schools in lower Manhattan.
After several sessions of brainstorming ideas for story topics, the current cohort of Neighborhood to Neighborhood Radio Rookies have settled into their groups based on their topic preferences and interests. The student reporters are now delving into one of the most important stages of the process -- conducting interviews.
Many teenagers see derogatory, sexual references like slut, whore and ho made by and about our peers on a near-daily basis in our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. But how do we react? Do we laugh it off and comment, like the majority of the populace? Or do we stick up for our buddies, risking our own image and likability? Until last week, my answer was the first of the two: I embraced complacency.
According to a group of New York City teenagers, sexually explicit content involving their classmates is a regular occurrence in their social media lives and mostly, they said, they ignored it and kept on scrolling. But they acknowledged that they could do more to limit the bullying and “slut shaming” they see.
Rookies DIY: How to do vox pop
The first in a series of videos we’re creating in partnership with the Hive NYC Learning Network, teaches people to produce their own stories using digital media. This animated short, along with the accompanying resources, will help educators teach interviewing skills to students of all ages.
Check out our Storify presentation from the 2013 Digital Media and Learning Conference to learn how we teach young people to address social issues and personal stories through digital media.
Radio Rookies' spring multimedia storytelling workshop launched just a few short weeks ago, and students from two high schools in lower Manhattan made their way to the downtown WNYC station for the first meeting.
A two-part conversation on April 4th, 2013, for NYC teenagers about the realities of sexual cyberbullying and what can be done about it.
* Online live chat here on our website during the school day from 1PM-2PM EST
* Teen town hall event after school at WNYC’s Greene Space from 4PM-6PM EST
"The ceremony took hours, but it wasn't until I walked out with my citizenship certificate that I finally felt claimed."
We decided to check in with Rookie Graduates in different communities to ask them how they feel about guns. They rated how easy it is to get a gun in their neighborhood on a scale of 1 to 10 [1 being very easy, 10 being very hard].
*Mr. Gonzalez will be a guest on the live-chat on gun control and school safety hosted by Radio Rookies and Youth Radio.The live chat is on January 31, 2012 from 1-2pm EST.
Radio Rookies and Youth Radio will hold a live chat on Thursday, January 31, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST, with students from classrooms around the country, to discuss gun control and school safety. To take part in the conversation, students will need to have internet access. Youth Radio reporter Robyn Gee will host the chat in collaboration with Radio Rookies contributors.
On Sunday, January 20th, President Obama was officially sworn in to his second term as president, but yesterday he shared his moment with the public at the inauguration ceremony. There were many great moments of the entire day, but Obama’s speech is what most people were waiting for (that and Beyonce’s singing of course)!