youth radio

Youth Radio: A community college's fate affects mine

Sep 5, 2013
Steve Rhodes

You can listen to this piece here.

I was sitting in my boyfriend’s room in my pajamas, picking out classes when I opened the email informing me that my school had lost its accreditation and might close its doors next year.

It was definitely a shock, and I immediately felt sad. Just getting to college had been a struggle for me.

Youth Radio: Staying off probation, and teaching others how

Aug 22, 2013

In 2008, Reinaldi Gilder promised himself that he would never go back to jail. Since his release in December of that year, he’s not only managed to keep his word, he has also shown others that they can do the same.

Rachael Voorhees / BY-NC-SA

I grew up in a middle-class, suburban county in New Jersey, but now I'm a twenty-something intern living in a low-income part of Washington, D.C. The realtor euphemism for such neighborhoods is “transitional,” a word that implies ongoing change. This is ironic because I feel that so many of the residents here feel as though things will never change, and will always stay the same. Since moving here, I've already become accustomed to the wail of sirens, the disconcerting, yet reassuring pulse of blue and red light through the heavy bars on my windows.

It was a little past seven o’clock on a late summer morning in Fremont, California, and 18-year-old D was already running late. At six-foot-one, with black hair and designer glasses, he looks like an Indian version of Clark Kent. It was an important occasion for D, which by the way, isn’t really his name. He asked not to be identified, since that would have defeated the entire purpose of what he was trying to do that day.

Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images

About 18 months ago, novice entrepreneur Sue Khim flew to San Francisco from her home in Illinois to take part in an uncommonly public version of a Silicon Valley rite of passage — the pitch. With thousands of other young techies in the audience, she was scheduled to be onstage at the Launch Festival, a showcase for “stealth” startups that have managed to keep their products out of the voracious tech press, or have as-yet-unreleased products to announce.

Brett Myers


I don't know how I should feel about the George Zimmerman verdict. I was the same age as Trayvon Martin when he was killed. It was the first shooting case that got national attention where I felt connected -- like I could relate. When I first heard the story, it seemed clear: Trayvon Martin was young and he was murdered. I thought it would be an open and shut case. As time progressed, it changed. The more information came out, the more complicated the case became. And then the verdict was announced. I wasn’t surprised. But I was emotionless. Should I be angry? Should I be sad? I felt like goop. No shape. No structure.

Under CC license from Andy Oakley

Three years ago, when Christian Hernandez was 16 years old, he recorded a joke voicemail greeting. It starts off with, “Hello. Hey! Uh, can’t understand you.” It’s meant to trick the caller into thinking it’s Hernandez on the phone. Eventually, callers hear, “Ha, voicemail! You know what to do stupid.” Now, at 19, Hernandez is looking for a job, and the greeting which started off as a joke for friends is now a liability.

Youth Radio: Rethinking fashion after Bangladesh

Jun 4, 2013
Adnan Islam

I’ve always had a deep love for fashion. I celebrate fashion week like it’s a holiday. But earlier this year, I realized the true cost of my clothes when I met a group of women I’d been stealing from my whole life.

As part of an exchange program, I traveled eight thousand miles, from Oakland, Calif. to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Brett Myers

Seventeen year-old Andrew is filling out a job application for a Jamba Juice in Oakland, California. He’s making his way through the basics, filling out his name and contact information. However question five posed a challenge. It was a yes or no checkbox which read, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

Courtesy of Flickr user Conspirator

Mental health advocates want the link between violence and people who are mentally ill to disappear.

After the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed 20 children and six staff, lawmakers scrambled to respond to the public’s fear that schools aren’t safe enough. Some states and policymakers began proposing policy changes that addressed people who suffer from mental illness, because an investigation into the Lanza’s mental health history revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).

Youth Radio: Undocumented teens out of the shadows at last

Mar 15, 2013
Mitzy Ballesteros

Seventeen-year-old Marco Pérez seems like an ordinary teenager. He wakes early each morning and rides his bicycle to Theodore Roosevelt High School. As a senior, he is applying to college. Yet he has a challenge unlike those of most other college-bound students. He is a “dreamer,” an undocumented immigrant student with dreams of legalizing his immigration status in the United States.

Youth Radio explores how a shooting at First Fridays, Oakland's popular monthly street party puts its future in limbo.

Youth Radio: Can yoga keep kids out of prison?

Feb 23, 2013

Traditionally, many U.S. counties have relied on “scared straight” tactics to keep youth from getting back in trouble. In Florida, for example, one juvenile detention center sits down young offenders in front of a “wall of shame,” a collection of photos of teens who have been shot and killed post-release. But one city is trading in these scare methods for a yoga mat and a couple of hours of meditation.

In the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Obama touched on several issues that might have pricked the ears of his young supporters who were instrumental in getting him re-elected.

According to CIRCLE, young black and Hispanic women provided the strongest support for President Obama among young voters in 2012. Young black male voters also heavily supported the president, although more of them voted Republican than in 2008.

Here's the drill: inside a school lockdown

Feb 12, 2013
Brett Myers / Youth Radio

As recently as a year ago, schools across the country, including the middle school in San Francisco where I used to teach, were toning down security. But since the school shooting in Newtown, school districts across the San Francisco Bay Area are ramping up safety measures.

Tesla Motors

What do you do when you’re the owner of a revolutionary electric car manufacturer and the paper of record slams your first mass product in a review?

If you’re Elon Musk of Tesla Motors you take to Twitter and accuse the newspaper of lying. At The Verge:

Courtesy of

We talk about the dangers of technology here from time to time, and have done some on the U.S. government’s use of military drones.

Here’s the mother of all drone reporting, from NBC News’ Michael Isikoff:

Image courtesy of

The Penny Arcade Report’s Ben Kuchera has a powerhouse of an editorial up today.

Kuchera uses Quentin Tarantino’s stark refusal to play into an interviewer gambit to see his films– specifically the gun violence heavy Django Unchained – through the lens of the Sandy Hook massacare as a prototype for how game makers should deal with the mainstream press on the issue:

Remember a year ago when Facebook announced Timeline? How it was going to change the way that people shared information about themselves? Then it came out and everyone just hated it because if there is one thing that people on the internet hate most it’s change?

Oakland Unified School District has the largest enrollment of any district in Alameda County, with 136 schools and over 46,000 students. Within OUSD, about 25 percent are charter schools and this number keeps growing.

Arise High School, a charter, is inside the Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland. The plaza looks hip and newly built. There’s a bank, senior center and a dentist’s office – not the typical setting for a high school with over 200 students. G. Reyes, one of the school’s co-principals, says Arise created a unique approach to learning.

Chaz Hubbard/Youth Radio

In 2008, 18- to 29-year-olds voted in record numbers. Turnout this election was expected to be way down among that age group – a voting bloc known as the Millennials – but their numbers were on par with four years ago. Mitt Romney received 37 percent support from young people, about 7 points higher than John McCain, and Barack Obama clinched 60 percent of the youth vote this time around.

Felicia Sullivan is a researcher at CIRCLE, the premier polling organization tracking youth and politics. She was pleasantly surprised as the polling numbers started coming in.

Youth Radio Podcast: Politics creep into Halloween

Nov 1, 2012
Youth Radio

Who would you rather be for Halloween, Governor Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama? That's what Youth Radio asked people in the Bay Area, while trying to give them a little dramatic inspiration. This and more in the Youth Radio Podcast.

Turnstyle News: The making of an empty San Francisco

Oct 22, 2012

A new, eerily gorgeous empty city video features a San Francisco without cars, pets, or people.

But equally as entertaining for video production nerd types is the “making of” video Ching created, describing his technique.

The League of Young Voters

Young voters make up to close to 20 percent of the electorate in the United States  a big voting block for any candidate. As of early October, 14 percent of young voters remain undecided. The narrative of disengaged youth in this election is dominating headlines lately, and a recent Pew study points to voter registration among young people on the decline. Youth Radio’s Malachi Segers explores some efforts to turn that decline around, by meeting young people where they are: online.

Under CC license from Flickr user You As A Machine

It would be the perfect media narrative. Barack Obama, a candidate molded in the image of a technocratic Millennial’s fantasy who had a Facebook profile way back in 2006, is losing in the social media theater to William Mittens Romney, who is an actual grandfather. So shocking it has to be true. Cue the contrarian articles and arbitrary data-parsing. There’s only one problem: the debate is totally irrelevant.

Youth voters: can Obama re-energize them?

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Young Democrats talk about voting

Sep 6, 2012

Courtesy Flickr user johncatral

The Democratic National Convention kicked off in North Carolina Tuesday with an aggressive response to the criticism doled out last week at the Republican National Convention in Florida. Here's a few of the remarks that stood out:

TED STRICKLAND: If Mitt was Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.

JULIAN CASTRO: Governor Romney has undergone an 'extreme makeover’, and it ain't pretty.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Barack knows the American dream because he's lived it.

Twenty-nine-year-old Mandy Santiago is at the edge of poverty, and on the fringes of this week’s convention in Tampa, Florida. She makes her living, for now, standing on street corners selling the Epoch Newspaper, with her husband and two small children in tow.

Today is the last day of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Although initially delayed due to Hurricane Isaac, the RNC has featured a number of politicians and notable persons throughout the past few days. Oakland’s Youth Radio has reporters on the ground at the RNC. Brandon McFarland spoke with KALW’s Ben Trefny.