A picture of lifeguards training in a pool.
PoolSafety / Flickr

Fewer teens are becoming lifeguards at local city pools.

Raleigh has had to cut hours at its city pools because it's fallen 40 slots short of its hiring goal. 

Raleigh Aquatic Director Terri Stroupe says fewer than half of the participants who signed up for a free lifeguard certification class last week passed the swim test.

The John Hope Franklin Young Scholars worked together to write and published a novel about a Durham teenager.
David Stein

More than 30 Durham Public School students recently published a novel that combines fact, fiction and illustration.

“Running For Hope” (John Hope Young Franklin Scholars Program/ 2015) is a creative attempt to explore the life story and impact of historian John Hope Franklin while documenting the modern-day challenges of growing up as a teenager living in a diverse community. It interweaves the fictional story of 9th grader Kendrick Parker with illustrated scenes from Mirror to America, an autobiography by John Hope Franklin. 

On Jan. 15, 15-year-olds around the world took a stand. Their goal was to make the world a better place 15 years from now by getting rid of poverty and disease. They shared their worries and their dreams with leaders around the world as part of the newly launched "action/2015" effort, supported by the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit group that the rock star Bono founded.

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Sandwich Monday: Doritos Loaded

Dec 8, 2014

Doritos are everywhere. They're in taco shells at Taco Bell, they're in pizza crusts in Australia and they're sneaking up behind you right now with murder in their eyes. 7-Eleven has introduced the Doritos Loaded, shorthand for "vaguely Doritos-shaped fried thing stuffed with cheese."

Robert: This is what happens to Doritos after they eat too many Doritos.

Lili Morales is a senior at Northern High School in Durham, N.C. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, she reports on the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.  Young people who entered the country illegally with their parents are eligible for the program if they are in school -- but they have to renew every two years.  It's a stressful process for some.

Morgan Manson and the other youth reporters were based at the American Tobacco campus all summer.
Carol Jackson

Teens in North Carolina are using the term "thirsty" these days, and they don't mean that they need a drink. The term refers to a specific behavior - one that occurs in social media, or in person. Teen reporter Morgan Manson explains:

Youth Radio: How NC Teens Text 4 Free

Aug 25, 2014
Jamayah Parrish conducting an interview outside the WUNC Studios in Durham
Carol Jackson

Jamayah Parrish is a rising senior at Northern High School in Durham.  As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, she reports on teens who have found a way to call and text for free over Wi-Fi.

Sophie Steiner, self portrait
Sophie Steiner

When Sophie Steiner was 13, she wrote a poem. The title was “Be Loud.”

Here's an excerpt:

… Be loud
And move with grace
Explode with light
Have no fear…

Those words would become a metaphor for her life. When she was 14, Sophie was diagnosed with cancer. It was the fall of her freshman year at East Chapel Hill High. She did six rounds of chemotherapy, and spent months in a pediatric cancer ward before succumbing to her illness. She died one year ago, August 30, 2013.

Sadie Zimet remixing the news at the Chapel Hill Beat Making Lab
Beat Making Lab

Area teens have been listening to radio news stories and remixing them with original hip hop beats. Remixing the News is a partnership between WUNC and the Beat Making Lab

The teens are  from area high schools including Chapel Hill High, East Chapel Hill High, and Research Triangle High. They met regularly after school throughout the spring and then completed a week-long summer workshop.

Waiting for the camp bus. First day excitement!
Alice via ShineBig

Hello mudda, hello fadda. It's that time again, summer camp!  What does summer camp look like for you and your family? Click here to share a photo, audio or video right from your phone.

You have until Friday, July 11. On Monday the 14th we will feature some of our favorite submissions here.

Click here to browse all of submissions we've published so far.

Teen Reporters: 8 Essential Summer Jams

Jun 26, 2014
earbuds and a heart
Olivia Alcock / Flickr/Creative Commons

WUNC is working with several teen reporters this summer. The young people are learning Journalism 101 from seasoned NPR and WUNC reporters.

On their first day on the job, we asked each reporter to recommend a song. The idea is to pull together a fun 2014 summer playlist for you.

Here are the recommendations.

Jamayah Parrish: "Pumped up Kicks" by Foster the People:

(l-r) Emmanuel Johnson, Thar Thwai, Chelsea Korynta, Jamayah Parrish, Morgan Manson, Lilli Morales
Carol Jackson

Where do you find those stories? That is one of the most-asked question of a radio reporter. Six young people will find out the answer this summer in WUNC's 3rd annual Summer Youth Radio Institute. The Institute kicked off Monday June 23 with an ambitious goal: teach the teens to find stories in their communities and give them the tools to tell those stories on the radio.

More than 50 young people applied to be a part of the experience. The rookie reporters hired for the six positions come from Orange, Durham and Chatham counties.

10-year-old Casey Valleroy, host Frank Stasio, and 14-year-old Logan Valleroy
Carol Jackson / WUNC


Logan and Casey Valleroy have years of experience playing nine different instruments.

The years of musical experience are impressive since they have a combined total of 24 years of life.

The duo known as The Bucket Brothers has released three albums, played live with members of big-name local bands like The Old Ceremony and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and they haven’t even entered high school yet.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means the tantalizing prospect of having more time for reading stretches ahead of us — long, lazy summer days curled up with a book.

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr / Flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday, in the state House, lawmakers passed a bill that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors to be referred to the juvenile justice system, rather than trying them as adults. The measure has been a long time coming.

The so-called “Raise the Age” bill passed 77 to 39 with broad bipartisan support. Republican representative Marilyn Avila of Wake County is the bill’s main sponsor.

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would raise the age at which North Carolina teens can be charged as adults. North Carolina is one of only two states that still treat 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. Republican representative Marilyn Avila is a sponsor of the bill.

"This bill is one that I feel like North Carolina needs to consider because we’re one of only two states who do not have our 16 and 17-year-old juvenile delinquents placed in the juvenile justice system. They go into the adult system," said Avila.

Rocky Mount Police http://www.rockymountnc.gov/police/gangawareness.html

Rocky Mount community members and leaders are gathering at Word Tabernacle Church tonight for a public forum. This comes just weeks after four boys were shot on the church basketball court, and another was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Word Tabernacle Church Pastor James Gailliard said the tragedies have been a catalyst for social dialogue. He said he sees people crossing the aisle politically and having constructive discussions about how to combat gang violence, poverty and joblessness in the community.

Laura Lee

Updated Saturday, 10/21/13 11:00 a.m.:

A vigil for a Durham 17-year-old who died in police custody turned violent on Thursday night when ranks of police officers dressed in riot gear clashed with a group of protesters.

Differing accounts of the encounter circled almost immediately after the crowd of more than 100 was dispersed from the edge of the Durham Police Department’s headquarters parking lot on South Duke Street.

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina doesn't spend enough to keep people from smoking or help them quit. That's according to a report from a coalition of health organizations.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids report ranked North Carolina 45th in the country for spending on smoking and chewing prevention or cessation programs. The report says the state spent none of its tobacco tax revenue on those programs in fiscal year 2013.

Ricky Diaz of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the state wants to serve its residents.

Teens at a high school football game
Brad Barlow / Flickr

More than half of teens with psychiatric disorders go untreated, and those who do get help often get it from non-mental health specialists, according to a study co-authored by Duke University researchers this month.

 About 45 percent of teens who have a psychiatric disorder received treatment in the 12 months prior to the study, and those getting help most often receive it from school counselors, pediatricians or probation officers.  

“What are they Thinking: The Straight facts about the risk taking, social networking, still developing teen brain” by Aaron M. White and Scott Swartzwelder
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc


While the verdict has long been out that adolescents are irrational and impulsive, recent research has shown that hormones are not the primary culprit for this behavior; the brain is also at fault.

A new counseling program begins tonight for teens in the Triad.

Text 4 Teens is a program that allows youths to seek support without saying a word. Teenagers can use texting to find help with depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse pressures or relationship problems. Michael Cottingham with Center Point Human Services believes using newer technology is the best way to connect.