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.

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.

Emmanuel Johnson worked as a teen reporter during the summer of 2014 at WUNC.
Carol Jackson

Emmanuel Johnson is a senior at Riverside High School in Durham. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, he reports on a changing neighborhood in his hometown.

I've lived in Durham, NC my whole life and I always walk past this park on the corner of Oakwood Avenue and Holloway Street. It's downtown, near the public library.

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:

Thar Thwai at work on his radio story in the WUNC studios.
Carol Jackson

About a thousand refugees resettle in North Carolina each year, and one third of them are from Burma and Thailand.  The Triangle is home to four of the nation's 10 refugee and immigrant resettlement organizations.  There are two in Durham, and two in Raleigh.

Resettlement agencies distribute State Department grants, a one-time payment of $925 per refugee.  For the first 90 days, the State Department provides housing and language assistance. But 90 days isn't a very long time when you are coming from a refugee camp. 

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.


Youth Radio: Dads In Prison

Aug 18, 2014
Aysia Evans and her father
WUNC

The following is from WUNC's Youth Radio project reporter Chelsea Korynta.

When I was 15, my father was sentenced to three months in prison. I was one of the 2.7 million Americans under 18 with a parent who’s incarcerated. In 2013, Sesame Street even created a series of videos starring a Muppet named “Alex,” whose dad is in jail.

Lili Morales, Teen Journalist and rising senior at Northern High School
'selfie'

As in summers past, WUNC staff members are mentoring six teenage reporters. The young people come from  three different counties, and get to see the inner workings of a public radio member station for several weeks while developing their own stories. Seasoned reporters are teaching them the tricks of the trade.

At the end of their first week on the job, we asked the students to submit a 'selfie' and tell us one thing that surprised them about the station.

"I am surprised that a radio station is so quiet and big," Lili Morales said.

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.

Pages