Youth Reporting Institute

Youth Radio Reporters at the annual Summer Youth Reporting Institute pitch, report, write and produce radio news stories on assignment for possible broadcast on North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC.  These young people  tell stories about their community in their own voice.  The Summer Youth Reporting Institute is located at the WUNC Studios at American Tobacco in downtown Durham.

WUNC's 2017 Youth Radio Institute students, from left to right: Endia Purdie, Skylar Fisher, Emmanuel Tobe, Star Smith, Loulou Batta, Katherine Gan, and Anthony Howard
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Every summer a group of teenagers pitch, report, write and produce radio stories as a part of WUNC’s Youth Reporting Institute. The young reporters pick stories that illuminate aspects of their community. 

The NC A&T State University swim team, which school officials ended nearly two years ago.
Courtesy of Kevin Dorsey

When North Carolina A&T State University ended its swim program nearly two years ago, it also shut the doors of the last all-black collegiate swim team in the country.

Hannah Wang and Olivia Liu research the benefits and harms of taking military action in the South China Sea.
Allison Swaim / WUNC

Most seventh graders spent this past summer swimming at the pool or hanging out with their friends. But not Hannah Wang. She’s one of 20 kids who attended a week-long debate camp for the Chinese-American community in Wake County.

A screengrab of a  Wakefield High School students Snapchat acount depicting a dark skinned figure hanging by a rope beside a bed sheet that reads ‘Make Wakefield Tripp Again #SMARTLUNCH
Snapchat user: its_sierra15

Here’s a list of senior pranks we’ve seen in recent years at Wakefield High School: tying a trash can to a flagpole, scattering balloons on the floor, placing a painted cow on top of the roof. But, what happened this year took pranks to another level.

A Philosophy of Radical Acceptance: Harm Reduction

Aug 9, 2017
man holding two vials of Naloxone.
Skylar Fisher / WUNC

My name is Skylar Fisher, and I’m 18 years old. I just graduated from a public high school in Raleigh, and all things considered, I had a pretty normal experience. I was the lead in the school musical, I went to concerts at Cat’s Cradle, and I also packaged overdose kits every month to be passed out to opiate users.

Jonathan Terry is a tenor drum player in the North Carolina Central University Marching band.
Kelley Purdie / WUNC

To many, marching band is a another pastime during a football halftime. But for Jonathan Terry, it's more. Band changed his life. Terry used to be a troublemaker, but now he plays tenor drum in North Carolina Central University’s marching band.

The inaugural members of the Black Student Union at Riverside High School.
Courtesy of Emmanuel Tobe / WUNC

Maybe the most obvious lesson I learned from my Advanced Placement Psychology class was about math. There were some numbers that didn’t seem to add up.

A Forked Road: Find A Job Or Go To College?

Aug 9, 2017
Star Smith wrestled with the idea of taking a manager training position or going to college.
Courtesy of Star Smith / WUNC

As a high school senior, you often come across many forked roads. Where are you going to apply for college? How are you going to pay for college if you get in? What do you see yourself doing in life? Is it even worth it to actually go to college? You’re finally done with high school and you are left in oblivion.

Kimani Hall / WUNC

What is News?

In this episode Durham rapper, G Yamazawa, tells us his thoughts on the news.

"News has really broadened itself to different forms. One of the main forms of news for my generation and younger is social media. Not only do you get news clips but you also get a personalized reaction to it."

About Our 2017 Youth Radio Reporters

Aug 3, 2017
WUNC's 2017 Youth Reporting Institute students.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Youth Radio reporters at the annual Summer Youth Reporting Institute pitch, report, write and produce radio news stories on assignment for broadcast on North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC.

WUNC Youth Podcast: Hey Al Letson, What is News?!

Jul 30, 2017

What is News?

In this episode we have the host of  Reveal, Al Letson, with us. Al tells us:

WUNC Youth Radio Podcast
Kimani Hall / WUNC

What is News?

 

In this episode Los Angeles Hip-Hop Artist, De'Wayne Jackson says,  

"I feel like at times hip-hop can be news for a lot of kids. We just have to continue to give our voices to the world and hope the kids that are listening can make a change."

What is news? 

In this episode we also ask Katherine Gan "Can hip-hop be news?"

WUNC Youth Radio Podcast
Kimani Hall / WUNC

What is news?  

In this episode Snap Judgment’s Glynn Washington says, “It’s an interesting question not because I think that news is being redefined.  There used to be at least lip service or homage paid to a lack of bias in news."

Youth Radio: A Reflection On Black Women's Hair

Sep 26, 2016
2016 Summer Reporting Intern Natasha Graham, 18, talks about the history and appropriation of black hairstyles in mainstream media.
WUNC

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

Meet: Natasha Graham
Age: 18

Youth Radio: The Triangle's Queens of Comedy

Sep 19, 2016
2016 Summer Reporter Institute interns Claire Goray, left, and Gayathri Raghavendra, right, on assignment.
WUNC

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

Meet: Claire Goray
Age: 18

Youth Radio: Lessons From Walking To Work

Sep 2, 2016
2016 Summer Reporting Institute intern Julio Olmos Arredondo, 17, walked to work with my radio mentor, Allison Swaim.
Allison Swaim / WUNC

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

Meet: Julio Olmos Arredondo
Age: 17

Youth Radio: Hoop Dreams

Aug 29, 2016
Courtesy of Djelimory Diabate

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

2016 Summer Reporter Institute interns Claire Goray, left, and Gayathri Raghavendra, right, on assignment.
WUNC

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

An image of former Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers
Durham Police Department

Taylor Walker, 16, is a senior at Northern High School in Durham.

Our series from WUNC's Youth Reporting Institute concludes with a look at the relationship between the African American community and law enforcement. We explore the issue through the eyes of Youth Reporter Taylor Walker. She's a senior at Northern High School in Durham and grew up around law enforcement. In fact, her mom works for the Durham Police Department.

The black community is having a pretty hard time trusting law enforcement—especially the youth. A lot of us think, "Cops are out to get me."

But Steve Chalmers, the former Chief of Police for Durham, said otherwise. 

Christina Dixon and her family
Christina Dixon

Christina Dixon, 18, is a rising senior at Northern High School in Durham.

Getting through high school can be tough. It's even harder without parents in the house. That's the story Christina Dixon chose to explore as part of WUNC's Summer Youth Reporting Institute

Soraya Asfari interviews another girl about wearing a hijab at her mosque.
Soraya Asfari

Soraya Asfari, 17, is a rising senior at Wake Tech Early College.

This summer, WUNC hired seven teenagers as part of its Youth Reporting Institute. One of them wears the hijab. She said that decision inspires many questions from strangers. Soraya Asfari explores why young Muslims choose to wear the traditional head scarf.

Muslim girls get questions all the time about the hijab. 

Youth Radio: Understanding The N-Word

Aug 24, 2015
Youth Reporter Marcus Williams interviews Veronica Terry on what the N-word means to her.
Charlie Shelton / WUNC

Marcus Williams, 18, just graduated from Northern High School and will be attending Oklahoma State University this fall.

An image of teens with dreadlocks
Joshua Bratcher

Joshua Bratcher, 18, just graduated from Trinity School and will be attending NC A&T State University this fall.

As a part of our on-going series of stories from the WUNC Summer Youth Reporting Institute, Joshua Bratcher talked to people in his community about the significance of alternative hairstyles as you look for a job.

Samantha Lanevi

Samantha Lanevi, 19, is a recent graduate of Durham Academy. She is currently a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

An image of a skatepark in Apex
Peyton Sickles / WUNC

Peyton Sickles, 17, is a skateboarder, a self-proclaimed "techie" and a rising senior at Apex High School.

Updated September, 19 at 10:30 a.m.

As a part of the WUNC Summer Youth Reporting Institute, Peyton Sickles chose to explore the story behind a new skateboard park that opened in Apex at the beginning of August. For teenagers like Sickles, the new park solves a real problem for young people in his community. Captain Jacques Gilbert of the Apex Police Department is one of the people featured in Sickles' story.

On Monday, Sept. 21, Gilbert will be recognized at the White House as a part of "Champions of Change." The program honors examples of law enforcement connecting with youth in the community. The Apex Police Department is one of seven departments nationwide that will be honored for the program. Listen to the story behind the skate park below:

It’s 7 p.m. on a Friday night inside of Hope Chapel Church in Apex, NC. There are 40 teenagers with skateboards inside the church, flying across ramps and shredding along rails.

An image of the 2015 Youth Radio group
Charlie Shelton / WUNC

A group of teenage reporters is adding the final touches to their stories this week as a part of WUNC's Youth Reporting Institute. The interviews are transcribed, the scripts have been written and each piece of the story is getting its last polish. As they finish up their summers jobs at WUNC, the youth reporters took some time to reflect and preview what listeners should anticipate hearing on the air in the coming weeks.

An image of a youth radio reporter and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Kamaya Truitt-Martin / WUNC

It’s not every day you get to see Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to be U.S. Attorney General. WUNC Youth Radio’s Kamaya Truitt-Martin and Taylor Walker almost didn’t get that chance.

An image of youth reporters dancing
Charlie Shelton / WUNC

Our student reporters for the Summer Youth Reporting Institute are venturing out this week to collect interviews for their original stories. We asked them what songs they will be listening to while they are on the go this summer. Check out their summer hits below:

Taylor Walker's Pick

"Latch" by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith

Charlie Shelton / WUNC

This week, six teenage reporters grabbed a microphone and went out into Durham to find a story. They encountered enthusiastic interviewees and some not-so-enthusiastic near a Durham bus stop on a hot summer’s day.

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.

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