First Lady to Honor Radio Rookies

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First Lady Laura Bush handed out the 2006 Coming Up Taller Awards Monday morning and WNYC's Radio Rookies program is among the 17 winners. All the honorees are young people in after school programs in underserved communities.

REPORTER: WNYC Radio Rookie Edward Llanos produced one of our feature stories and can't believe he'll be honored at the White House.

LLANOS: That was a big surprise because you don't think that it's going to reach that far and who knows who is going to listen to your story and for these stories to be heard and be given an award so great is really major.

REPORTER: Llanos graduated from high school in Queens and just finished his first college semester at Mount Saint Vincent in The Bronx. He's thinking about pursuing a career in radio and still remembers when his story first aired on WNYC.

LLANOS: Well my heart started racing because I was scared to see what people's reaction would be and things like that. So, I was really psyched that my voice was being heard over the radio.

REPORTER: Llanos reported and produced a story on how his own rare blood disease affected his family. Radio Rookies will get $10,000 in award money to help continue the program which has been putting microphones in the hands of high school students since 1999 here on WNYC.