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.

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.

Youth Radio: Grieving For A Lost Brother

Sep 20, 2013
Justavis Brooks was a Youth Radio reporter with WUNC this past summer.
WUNC

This past summer WUNC worked with six youth reporters. Justavis Brooks decided to use the opportunity to face something everyone has to deal with at some point- the pain of losing a loved one. 

On December 7, 2006, my brother, Raphael Eason, was shot and killed. I was ten years old and I lived in Virginia. My brother lived with my dad’s side of the family in Elizabeth City, a town in the northeastern part of North Carolina. Since his passing he has been more of a mystery than a memory because no one has said much to me about him or the incident. This summer, I began to question the silence and the reasons behind it. I figured there was no better place to start than with my dad, Troy Brooks.

Youth Radio: How Shyness Can Be A Good Thing

Sep 13, 2013
Mashallah Salaam, a 16-year-old high school graduate from Chapel Hill, was a Youth Radio reporter this summer.
WUNC

This summer we worked with a group of young reporters in the WUNC Youth Radio Institute.  They included Mashallah Salaam, a 16 year old high school graduate from Chapel Hill.

I’m someone who has always been labeled as shy. I used to get talked over and brushed off because I’m quiet. Growing up, I never spoke until I knew exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. My mom, Damita Hicks, says it’s because I was around more adults than kids.

Sunny Osment was a Youth Radio reporter at WUNC this summer.
WUNC

This summer WUNC worked with six youth reporters as part of the Summer Youth Radio Institute in our American Graduate Project.

Have you ever heard of the word “ratchet”? I’m not talking about the tool you buy from Lowe's, but the “Ratchet” you use to describe Miley Cyrus’ dance moves, or someone’s out-dated flip phone?  Connie Eble, a professor in the English Department at UNC-Chapel Hill, collects college slang by asking her students to turn in terms as a class assignment.

Youth Radio: Gang Life Puts Dead End In Sight

Aug 30, 2013
Kamaya Truitt-Martin was a reporter with WUNC's Youth Radio Institute this summer.
WUNC

This summer WUNC has been working with six youth reporters as part of the Summer Youth Radio Institute in our American Graduate Project.

There’s a dangerous game playing out in North Durham neighborhoods every day.  Dashaun Richardson, one of my old classmates, spends most of his time in a neighborhood around Dowd Street, just a few blocks from the WUNC studios. He knows that winning this game means surviving and losing comes with real consequences.

Akib Khan was a reporter with WUNC's Youth Radio Institute this summer.
WUNC

This summer WUNC has been working with six youth reporters as part of the Summer Youth Radio Institute in our American Graduate Project.  Akib Khan moved with his family to the U.S. from Dhaka, Bangladesh when he was nine years old. He reports on the Burmese refugee community in Carrboro.

Abdul Hussain and his family came to Carrboro in July. Hussain grew up in Burma. He says when he was 13, the local government made false allegations against him, forcing him to flee his homeland and that this happens to many minorities in Burma. He lived in Malaysia for years before finally being granted asylum in the United States. When he arrived, the first thing he did was look for something familiar—as a Muslim, he wanted to find a mosque.

Jerell Davis, a Youth Radio reporter this summer at WUNC, reports on his grandfather's role at the Hargraves CommunityCenter.
WUNC

This is the first in a series of stories from WUNC's Youth Radio Institute, a group of high school students who spent five weeks this summer reporting on issues that matter to young people in North Carolina.

Growing up I had two homes: my grandparents’ house and the William H. Hargraves Center in the Northside neighborhood of Chapel Hill. My grandfather, Nate Davis, lived at both. He’s worked at Hargraves for 40 consecutive years and helped make it a true community center.

Our series from the WUNC Youth Radio Institute concludes this morning with a story from Fontezia Walker. She's 19 and had a number of setbacks while working towards her high school diploma. As you'll hear in this report, she and her sister struck out on their own -- by deciding to stay home.

Fontezia Walker: I live in a 3-room apartment in North Durham. Our home is filled with squeaky stairways, and the sounds of noisy neighbors. I live with my older sister, her son - and the memory of my mother.

On Fridays we've been listening to a series produced by young people involved in WUNC's first ever Summer Youth Radio Institute. This week 15-year-old Akib Khan tells the story of his sister, who decided to start wearing the hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf, when the family immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh. As our youth reporter tells us it's a decision that was met with some skepticism.

Youth Radio Institute: Jasmine Farmer

Aug 24, 2012

Our series from the WUNC Summer Youth Radio Institute continues this morning with a story from 18-year-old Jasmine Farmer. She's a poet and recent high school graduate who's involved with the slam poetry group Sacrificial Poets. Once a month the group hosts an open-mic night in the back room of Chapel Hill Fly Leaf Books. As Jasmine reports it's become a place where young people can perform their writing to a welcoming audience.

Jasmine Farmer: When you go to an Open Mic,

Terrence Foushe: So like

Youth Radio Institute: Dontá McCormick

Aug 17, 2012

It's Friday and time for the next installment from our series from the WUNC Summer Youth Radio Institute. Donta McCormick was one of our youth reporters this summer. He and his brother grew up in North Durham -- in neighborhoods where most of their friends never made it out of high school. But as Donta reports -- the support of a mentor helped make sure his brother's path would be different from their friends.

Youth Radio Institute: Addie Malone

Aug 10, 2012

This Summer WUNC established its first ever Youth Radio Institute. We hired five young people and two mentors  to produce reports from their communities. We'll be hearing their work over the next several Friday mornings. First up is a report from 19-year-old Addie Malone. She brought us this story from the Rogers Road neighborhood in Chapel Hill. This summer, a couple of older residents started a community center for kids in the historically black neighborhood. But they did it without adhering to local zoning or safety ordinances. So this weekend the facility is closing.

WUNC's Youth Radio Club on the job
David Brower

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  To celebrate, we check in with WUNC’s new Youth Radio Club. It’s a group of 7th and 8th graders from the Durham Nativity School. The club was formed as a part of WUNC’s American Graduate Project. Each Friday after school, the students take the bus over to our studios to learn a little about what it takes to produce a public radio news piece. Thanksgiving is on their minds this week.

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