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WNYC's Radio Rookies

WNYC's Radio Rookies Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world.

Folashade Olatunde has always felt incomplete. Her dad has been in prison since she was a baby and she doesn’t know much...
09/08/2022
Half of My Parents, All of Me | The United States of Anxiety | WNYC Studios

Folashade Olatunde has always felt incomplete. Her dad has been in prison since she was a baby and she doesn’t know much about him. And how can she ever know herself without knowing where she came from?

So last year, she decided to visit her dad in prison for the first time in more than a decade. On #USofAnxiety, she shares her story and her journey of self-discovery ➡️
https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anxiety/episodes/half-my-parents-all-me

Folashade Olatunde, a WNYC Radio Rookie, shares a series of open and honest audio diaries, inviting listeners on her journey to rebuild a relationship with her dad.

Through a series of audio diaries, Radio Rookie Folashade Olatunde shares a personal and touching story about trauma, se...
04/25/2022
A journey to reconnect with an incarcerated father | Radio Rookies | WNYC

Through a series of audio diaries, Radio Rookie Folashade Olatunde shares a personal and touching story about trauma, self-discovery and her journey to rebuild her relationship with her dad, whose been in prison since she was two years old.

https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-reconnect-incarcerated-parent

Folashade Olatunde shares her journey to rebuild her relationship with her incarcerated father, following her first visit to the prison in more than a decade.

In this installment of Radio Rookies, Kayla Ollivierre shares a deeply personal childhood story: While witnessing a dome...
04/24/2022
Imagining a world without police | Radio Rookies | WNYC

In this installment of Radio Rookies, Kayla Ollivierre shares a deeply personal childhood story: While witnessing a domestic violence incident in her home, Kayla called 911 for help. But that first interaction with police left her feeling ignored and disappointed.

Now, as Kayla questions the role of police in our communities, she speaks with lawyer and writer Derecka Purnell to find answers to her questions.

https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-domestic-violence-police-abolition

Years after she witnessed a domestic violence incident in her home and called the police, Kayla Ollivierre starts to question the role of police in our communities.

Before starting an internship with the Center for Court Innovation, Radio Rookie Deborah Ugo-Omenukwa had never heard of...
04/23/2022
Taking a restorative approach to youth justice | Radio Rookies | WNYC

Before starting an internship with the Center for Court Innovation, Radio Rookie Deborah Ugo-Omenukwa had never heard of restorative justice — a process that allows people to take responsibility for their actions, confront the harm they’ve caused and try to repair it.

But the more she learned about restorative justice, the more she started to see flaws in the larger legal system. In this installment of Radio Rookies, Deborah brings us stories from the Brownsville Community Justice Center.

https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-restorative-justice

Deborah Ugo-Omenukwa looks at how restorative justice can give young people a chance to take responsibility for their actions while avoiding the larger criminal justice system. 

When Radio Rookie Betsy-Jane Paul-Odionhin moved to Queens from Nigeria, she expected the United States to be better in ...
04/21/2022
Finding ways to feel safe as a young Black girl in America | Radio Rookies | WNYC

When Radio Rookie Betsy-Jane Paul-Odionhin moved to Queens from Nigeria, she expected the United States to be better in every way. But instead, she lost all sense of safety.

In this installment of Radio Rookies, Betsy-Jane explores identity and what it means to feel safe — or not safe — as a young Black girl growing up in America.

https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-safety-in-america

Betsy-Jane Paul-Odionhin explores what it means to feel safe — or unsafe — as a young Black girl growing up in America.

The NYPD “gang database” is a secretive list of thousands of people the NYPD has labeled as gang members. Police officia...
04/21/2022
How a secretive police database affects young Black and brown men | Radio Rookies | WNYC

The NYPD “gang database” is a secretive list of thousands of people the NYPD has labeled as gang members. Police officials say the list helps them stop violence. Critics say it’s another way to surveil and harass Black and Latino communities.

In this installment of Radio Rookies, 18-year-old Rainier Harris explores how young people end up on this list and how it can affect their lives.

https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-gang-database

Rainier Harris looks at how the NYPD uses a secretive database to label people as gang members — and how it affects the lives of young Black and brown men.

Eighteen-year-old Guadalupe Ortega has always asked questions to understand the world around her. So when the pandemic c...
07/15/2021
Our Feelings Are Not Our Fault: How Science Can Explain Our Emotions | Radio Rookies | WNYC

Eighteen-year-old Guadalupe Ortega has always asked questions to understand the world around her. So when the pandemic caused fear and anxiety to overwhelm her mom, Guadalupe turned to science. She wanted to find out which chemical reactions cause which feelings in which parts of the brain — and what we can do to take back control. Listen to her story @ WNYC https://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-how-science-can-explain-emotions

When the pandemic caused fear and anxiety to overwhelm her mom, Guadalupe Ortega turned to science.

“These issues are more than talking points for us ...They are our stories, they need to be told and we want to be the on...
07/13/2020

“These issues are more than talking points for us ...They are our stories, they need to be told and we want to be the ones to tell them.”

To amplify the voices of young people across the country, Radio Rookies and YR Media have teamed up to bring you 18-to-29 Now: Young America Speaks Up ✨

For the next four months, more than a dozen young people will document and explore what’s at stake for them this election year: https://bit.ly/18to29Now

OPPORTUNITY ALERT: if the personal is political--here is your chance to tell a story about what is at stake for YOU in #...
01/08/2020
18-29 Now: An Election Project

OPPORTUNITY ALERT: if the personal is political--here is your chance to tell a story about what is at stake for YOU in #Election2020. WNYC's Radio Rookies & @itsYRmedia
are seeking contributors across the country we will TRAIN and PAY to report stories. Please share! Info:

Are you a great storyteller who has a personal stake in this election? Two award-winning, youth-led national media outlets, WNYC's Radio Rookies in New York and YR Media based in California, are joining forces to recruit a team of media makers (ages 18-29) around the country to highlight what is rea...

12/03/2019

Coming up today on WNYC (820AM, 93.9 FM) on the Brian Lehrer Show, Veralyn Williams and Arame Sene talk about 20 years of Radio Rookies! radiorookies.org

Radio Rookies is back just in time for #stonewall50 ! A story about communicating across generations about being non bin...
06/04/2019
‎The Stakes on Apple Podcasts

Radio Rookies is back just in time for #stonewall50 ! A story about communicating across generations about being non binary, pans*xuality, and whether labels are worth it. Listen to the podcast The Stakes for all that and more! https://smarturl.it/thestakes

‎Society & Culture · 2019

For the past year Radio Rookies has been focusing on the juvenile justice system alongside WNYC Radio's Narrative Unit. ...
03/14/2018
Caught - WNYC Studios

For the past year Radio Rookies has been focusing on the juvenile justice system alongside WNYC Radio's Narrative Unit.

This week we bring you Caught, a podcast where teenagers explain how the justice system has changed them forever. Mass incarceration starts young. #CaughtPodcast
https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/caught

Mass incarceration starts young. These kids say the system changes them forever.

09/20/2017
One Immigrant's Anxiety in Trump's America

The fear of deportation is a trauma.
Hear the latest from a 26-year-old former Rookie with DACA status. She reports on how Trump's immigration policies and the recent cancelation of DACA impact the mental health of undocumented immigrants, especially those who've experienced previous traumas.
Airing today on WNYC Radio's All Things Considered and tomorrow on Morning Edition.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/one-immigrants-anxiety-trumps-america/

The Trump Administration's policies have taken a deep psychological toll on undocumented immigrants. Like this 26-year-old, former Radio Rookie whose been in the U.S. since she was five.

09/04/2017

We have many amazing Dreamers in the Rookies community. We stand with them tonight. #DACA

From Radio Rookies Producer Courtney Stein: I'm been a mentor to Aiden since he was 15. On April 17th, Aiden's wife Jayn...
05/18/2017
Click here to support Supporting Aiden after losing Jayne organized by Andrew Mambo

From Radio Rookies Producer Courtney Stein:
I'm been a mentor to Aiden since he was 15.
On April 17th, Aiden's wife Jayne died suddenly. As trans youth in New York City, Aiden and Jayne faced what many trans young people struggle with: homelessness, rejection from family members, health and mental health issues, and employment insecurity. Jayne had the additional burden of being undocumented in today’s political climate. Aiden and Jayne had been living in emergency shelter in Manhattan when Jayne died, they’d been on a list for more permanent family housing through the city. Now that Aiden is a widow, that option is no longer available.
Aiden is looking ahead, he hopes to continue studying engineering at Queens College but to do this he needs housing and educational support. Aiden has also been working with WNYC’s Radio Rookies to document his experiences as a trans youth and he will continue to do that. At 18, Aiden has survived more trauma than anyone I've ever met, but he's resilient, smart and stubborn, so he will move forward. But he could use some help.
https://www.gofundme.com/supportingaiden

Aiden and Jayne's story On April 17th, Aiden Strata’s wife Jayne died suddenly. As trans youth in New York City, Aiden and Jayne faced what many trans young people struggle with: homelessness, rejection from family members, health and mental health issues, and employment insecurity. Jayne had the...

03/03/2017
WNYC

WNYC

From WNYC's Radio Rookies, how do you make life-changing decisions when not everyone in your family is a citizen?

We are so proud to have Wayner's powerful story featured by our friends at NPR's Latino USA. Make sure you catch their e...
01/20/2017
Growing Up Without Parents, Life After Deportation

We are so proud to have Wayner's powerful story featured by our friends at NPR's Latino USA. Make sure you catch their entire episode this week!

When I was nine, I woke up one morning and my mom said, “Someone came looking for your dad.” She didn’t know it was immigration. She assumed they were police officers, so she gave them his work address. Later that day, I was watching Pokemon and my...

Thank you EdSurge for your excellent article about our curriculum. We are so glad educators are using it and students ar...
01/12/2017
​On Air EdTech: How Audio Journalism Is Helping Students Build Digital Literacy (EdSurge News)

Thank you EdSurge for your excellent article about our curriculum. We are so glad educators are using it and students are learning!

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-01-12-on-air-edtech-how-audio-journalism-is-helping-students-build-digital-literacy

Athina G. is a student at Brooklyn Middle School in New York. She’s also an award-winning audio producer.“Racism is a form of prejudice from one people to another,” she explains in an audio story submitted alongside team members Marley, Gladys and Randy, who collectively entered NYC’s youth innovati

We are excited our curriculum was featured in POLITICO's education newsletter!"A CRASH COURSE IN REPORTING FOR ‘RADIO RO...
12/09/2016
Trump stops in Michigan, land of free-market schools

We are excited our curriculum was featured in POLITICO's education newsletter!

"A CRASH COURSE IN REPORTING FOR ‘RADIO ROOKIES:’ WNYC’s radio show “for teens, by teens” has a new curriculum for teachers looking to train audio journalists. In the curriculum, which is Common Core-aligned, are lessons on reporting, recording and crafting a narrative."

Get your hands on it here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/radio-rookies-basics-audio-journalism-curriculum/

http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-education/2016/12/trump-stops-in-michigan-land-of-free-market-schools-217793

School’s a scary place for transgender students — Spike in international students studying STEM

Rookies producers (Caitlin Pierce Kaari Pitkin, Jared Marcelle) ran three workshops to members at Getting Out and Stayin...
12/02/2016
Getting Out and Staying Out, Inc. - GOSO

Rookies producers (Caitlin Pierce Kaari Pitkin, Jared Marcelle) ran three workshops to members at Getting Out and Staying Out in November--teaching interview skills and the basics of recording. Some GOSO members are joining our next broadcast workshop to tell report and tell their stories.

ON THE BLOG: GOSO Guys learn the ropes of radio journalism with WNYC's Radio Rookies!

http://gosonyc.org/2016/11/17/radio-rookies-with-wnyc/

Rookie Corinne Bobb-Semple presented her story about Bed-Stuy's gentrification in Stockholm, Sweden!She did a Q&A in par...
12/02/2016

Rookie Corinne Bobb-Semple presented her story about Bed-Stuy's gentrification in Stockholm, Sweden!

She did a Q&A in partnership with a Swedish architecture firm who is using urban storytelling practices to minimize the negative effects of gentrification.

Congratulations Corinne on the international impact of your story!

11/18/2016
Policing in Starrett City

Claudlin has a good relationship with the police in his housing complex. But not so much with the NYPD. His advice:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/policing-starrett-city

The patrol officers in the Starrett City housing complex in East New York have built a positive relationship with my community. I wish the NYPD would do the same in every neighborhood.

11/16/2016
Waiting 11 Years to Be Adopted

Radio Rookies just finished our latest series of stories, ending today with a piece about waiting 11 years for an adoption to go through. ICYMI the series, go to wnyc.org/radiorookies to listen! http://www.wnyc.org/story/waiting-11-years-be-adopted

Rookie Feria Morisett Noe spent 11 years of her life in the foster care system, not because she couldn't find the right home but because it took so darn long to be adopted.

11/10/2016

Calling Radio Rookie Alums: if you have stories you want to tell about the election results or really just want to share anything. Feel free to write kpitkin at wnyc dot org, write a comment here. We are thinking about how to cover this moment.

11/04/2016
Seven Schools Later, One Student's View of Segregation

From a comment on WNYC.org about Alexia's story: "Alexia Richbourg's story was excellent, professional, well-composed, and compelling. As a graduate of a New York City public school, I found her reporting illuminating. It's very encouraging to hear a young person produce a work of this caliber."

Listen and share!
http://www.wnyc.org/story/seven-schools-student-segregation/

It’s frustrating that so few students know there are differences between predominantly black and white schools. My older sisters and I know. We lived them.

Catch Wayner's story on wnyc.org or 93.9 at 4:00 p.m. ET.Si desea eschucar en español haga clic aqui:
11/03/2016
Growing Up Without Your Parents, Life After Deportation - En Español

Catch Wayner's story on wnyc.org or 93.9 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Si desea eschucar en español haga clic aqui:

Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world.

We're so proud of Radio Rookie Rainy and the incredible reporting she did about getting out an abusive relationship for ...
10/05/2016
I Can Explain.

We're so proud of Radio Rookie Rainy and the incredible reporting she did about getting out an abusive relationship for This American Life. The piece won a Third Coast International Audio Festival Award! Congratulations Rainy!
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/567/whats-going-on-in-there?act=1#play

A teenager reports what it is like to be inside an abusive relationship with an older man. This piece was created by WNYC’s Radio Rookies program. It was produced by Courtney Stein, with Andrew Mambo and Kaari Pitkin.

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“It’s gonna change you as a person. You probably not going to want to change, at first. When you first come in, you're going to be like, nah, this is nonsense — at first. And then you’re going to start listening,” shared Quinnshawn. WNYC's Radio Rookies' reporter, Deborah Ugo-Omenukwa, spoke with our Brownsville Community Justice Center team about their restorative justice work. Listen as Deborah and our Brownsville team discuss the difference between punishment and consequence, root causes, and the power of asking questions on WNYC.
'Radio Rookie Folashade Olatunde’s dad went to prison when she was two years old. She used to go visit him all the time with her mom. Until her parents got divorced. Now, it’s been more than a decade since she saw her father. In this installment of WNYC's Radio Rookies, Folashade shares a series of open and honest audio diaries and invites listeners on her journey to rebuild her relationship with her dad.'
So proud of our #18to29Now Project contributors who documented their lives in 2020 and our amazing WNYC's Radio Rookies partners. See their great work here: https://youngamericaspeaksup.org #Murrow
Climate change was a top issue for young voters this election, and when you live in areas with natural disasters, the truth is harder to ignore. After years of hurricanes, Laura Bratton says "I was scared to admit the worst case scenario might be real." Read Laura's story from North Carolina. Part of our #18to29Now project with WNYC's Radio Rookies. See all the stories at: YoungAmericaSpeaksUp.org #Climate #ClimateChange #HurricaneSeason #18to29 #Election2020
Juan Mireles-Palomar says Biden's win will change his life as a DACA recipient. When he heard the news, "I couldn’t help but smile under my mask." Read his essay from our #18to29Now project with WNYC's Radio Rookies. See all the stories at: YoungAmericaSpeaksUp.org #18to29 #Election2020
"A lot of thought goes into our vote. More and more young voters are choosing not to register with either major party." A third party voter in Montana reflects. Kaleigh Cunningham from our #18to29Now project with WNYC's Radio Rookies See all the stories at: YoungAmericaSpeaksUp.org #18to29 #Election2020 #Vote2020 #GoVote #ProtectYourVote
We teamed up with PopSugar to talk with young Americans about the election of our lifetime. Young adults from across the country, who contribute to our #18to29Now project with WNYC's Radio Rookies, had a lot to say about a range of issues, from #immigration and #LGBTQ rights to generational divides and racial justice. See what they had to say and learn ways to be engaged, and not lose hope! http://bit.ly/psxyrmedia #18to29 #2020Election #Vote2020 #RockTheVote #ProtectYourVote
Kamala Harris will be in the spotlight tonight at the #DNC2020. Sher Delva from our 18-to-29 Now project with WNYC's Radio Rookies explains why embracing the senator wasn’t easy for her, but ultimately makes sense. “As a young voter in a flip state like Florida, I know my vote matters.” #18to29 #2020Election #Vote2020 #RockTheVote
"Politics is more than elections and voting every four years; it’s steering committee meetings, education roundtables, and having difficult conversations." For the 18-to-29 Now project with our partners WNYC's Radio Rookies, Sher Delva reflects on activism, voting and looking ahead. #18to29 #2020Election #Vote2020 #RockTheVote
To move forward on #election2020, a young progressive looks to the past. LISTEN from WNYC's Radio Rookies / YR Media: http://ow.ly/4qWQ50AQiA3 #SRLYouthVote
Young America Speaks Up: Check out this new effort by our friends YR Media and WNYC's Radio Rookies / NPR https://youngamericaspeaksup.org/
Stat from GenForward Survey: More African American (50%) and Latinx (47%) young adults are extremely or very worried about being able to pay an unexpected bill of $1,000 right away compared to white and Asian young adults. Erianna Jiles is one of them. Check out her video about making ends meet and #2020Election as part of our 18-to-29 Now: Young America Speaks Up project with with our partners WNYC's Radio Rookies. #18to29 #Voters #2020Election
"Zoom meetings were all we had for three months during shelter in place. And at first, I was excited to try recovery online." For the 18-to-29 Now project with our partners WNYC's Radio Rookies, Laura Bratton explains how 12-step programs are relying on technology and social distancing to keep people connected during COVID-19. #18to29
“These issues are more than talking points for us ...They are our stories, they need to be told and we want to be the ones to tell them.” To amplify the voices of young people across the country, YR Media and WNYC's Radio Rookies have teamed up to bring you 18-to-29 Now: Young America Speaks Up✨ For the next four months, more than a dozen young people will document and explore what’s at stake for them in 2020. https://bit.ly/18to29Now #18to29 #Voters #2020election
OPPORTUNITY ALERT: Deadline Jan 22nd!! Two award-winning, youth-led national media outlets, WNYC's Radio Rookies in New York and YR Media based in California are seeking young, diverse contributors across the country to tell stories about what youth have at stake in the 2020 election. They will TRAIN and PAY this cohort of youth to report stories. Apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GcpktWMtz4U_b9BR8FutOWi0aTHhFbbFtuMcnfRCoDM/viewform?ts=5df7fc2c&edit_requested=true&fbclid=IwAR38FdN5Wb6kXkFFdW4gL675KNot7BtnhgfjpqY1FDqfhOKMUaEuCtF15g0
Are you an 18 to 29-year-old storyteller with something at stake in #Election2020? Here’s your chance to get TRAINED & PAID by YR Media x WNYC's Radio Rookies to report on stories you care about! APPLY before JAN. 22 🇺🇸🤑📝