Radio Rookies held its second Staten Island workshop in collaboration with Eye Openers, a youth anti-violence program started by Project Hospitality. Eye Openers bridges ethnic tensions in the area and hosts a number of community service projects and after-school activities. All six of the New Brighton Rookies are active in Eye Openers and have been outspoken youth leaders fighting for immigrant rights and against violence in their neighborhood. These stories won both a National Edward R. Murrow Award for feature reporting and a Regional Murrow Award for writing.

Hector Gollolarte

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I was born in Mexico. I am 19 years old and I have been here since I was five years old. I am interested in sports, comedy and music. I like to spend my time hanging out or meeting new people. (Fall 2006)


What about Me, Uncle Sam?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Every day on his way to school, Christian passes a group of men lined up for work on the street. Most of them are undocumented Mexican immigrants -- just like him -- without any pathway to legal citizenship. Christian is 15 years-old and grew up in New York City. For teens like him it can be hard to keep going to classes, knowing that without permanent resident status, the jobs and opportunities they seek will be closed to them. Some of the immigration reform legislation currently being debated in Congress, known as The Dream Act, contains provisions for kids like Christian--who have spent the majority of their lives in the US-- to gain their citizenship through completion of college or military service. And even with all the grim risks of war, Christian's best hope might be the Army.

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Feeling Ugly Inside

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

When Marie resolved to lose 40 pounds last summer, she thought that would be the end of her struggles with self-esteem. But after exercising and dieting her way to a slimmer figure, she has found her confidence much slower to improve. Tracing the sources of her self image, Marie has found answers and also questions.

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One Atheist, 14 Catholics

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sonia first learned about Darwin in junior high school. The theory of evolution made sense to Sonia and she began to question everything she’d been taught previously by the church and her devoutly Catholic mother. Four years later, Sonia is the only atheist among her parent’s 13 children—a fact that often leaves her feeling misunderstood and tired of explaining that just because she doesn’t believe in God, she doesn’t worship the devil. Sonia’s documentary delves into the religious and cultural split that divides her from her family, especially her parents: "They grew up on little farms [in Mexico] with no running water and wooden floors. My dad started herding goats and cows when he was five years old. It was hard to survive and go to school. My mom went to school through the first grade and can only write her name."


The Second Mom

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sara Martinez assumes a lot of responsibility in her family. She helps her parents, who are from Mexico, with household chores and serves as their bridge to the English-speaking world. She also looks after her three younger siblings, including her youngest brother, Diego, who was born with autism. Sara knows that taking care of Diego helped her grow up faster than her peers, and sometimes she feels she missed out on being just a regular teenager. As Sara says in her radio documentary, "When my mom was telling me her worries about Diego, inside I was like, 'Why are you telling me this? I'm just a kid - why should I have to worry too?' But instead I just let my mom talk."


Father Figure

Monday, June 18, 2007

When he was in 8th grade, Andrew came home to find an unfamiliar man on the front porch - his father. After a summer hanging out together at the batting cages and the park, his dad disappeared from his life again. Stories of absentee-fathers are all too familiar among Andrew's friends, and as he considers fatherhood in his future, Andrew wonders what he can learn from his own experience.