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Radio Rookies

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New York, NY




Real stories by New York City teenagers take listeners inside their lives and their communities in this Peabody Award-winning youth journalism initiative. For teens, by teens and about the challenges of teen life, Radio Rookies gives students the tools and the training to share their own stories through the medium of audio. WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio and many others. Find these and more great shows at wnyc.org © WNYC




Radio Rookies 160 Varick Street, 9th Floor New York, NY 10013 646-829-4000


Get it Out

Alicia's fortunate enough to attend a high school with a music writing program, Beat Rhymers, so last year when her mother was shot in the leg and her uncle was killed in a car accident she found release in her beats and lyrics.

Duration: 00:08:00

Losing Language

Grisel speaks Spanish at home with her mom in NYC, and during the summers with her dad and cousins in Puerto Rico. Her close friend Aura had a very different experience. Aura can’t speak Spanish or communicate easily with her grandparents.

Duration: 00:08:00

This is America, Speak English

Radio Rookies Sam and Sydne both grew up in New York City and are used the polyglot of language that makes up the fabric of the city. They are dismayed by people who express anger over having to "push 1 for English" on automated phone calls.

Duration: 00:08:00

TEEN TALK on Improving NYC Schools

Radio Rookies and the Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP) host a teen talk for young people on June 4 to discuss creative solutions to improve NYC schools. Listen to Macho Lopez's 2001 story about what led to him to drop out. How much has changed in a decade?

Duration: 00:08:12

The Mary Jane Mindset: Rookies report on Marijuana

Radio Rookies Temitayo Fagbenle and Gemma Weiner spent the past several months talking to dozens of teenagers who smoke weed about where they buy it, how much they spend on it, and how they think about risk.

Duration: 00:08:33

Op-Ed: My Own Path to Citizenship

Recently Veralyn Williams was able to apply for citizenship and has this report on what it means to her to finally become an American.

Duration: 00:06:28

American Dream - Minus My Mom

18 months ago Radio Rookie Tangeneka Taylor's family went to pick up immigration paperwork. The clerk told them that her mom's name wasn't on the papers. Hear how Tangeneka had to adjust to her new life without her mom.

Duration: 00:07:00

American Heaven

18-year-old Radio Rookie Reporter, Danielle came from the Congo when she was 13. She remembers people calling this country "heaven." Now she says she's helping to perpetuate the myth to give her family, especially her mother, hope.

Duration: 00:07:27

Sickle and Me

Nearly 100,000 Americans suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle cells aren't round ? they?re shaped like a crescent moon and Radio Rookie Bree Person hates looking at them. Sometimes she hates talking about them, too.

Duration: 00:07:11

My Education, Uninterrupted

Radio Rookie Mike Brown, 18, is a young black man growing up in Harlem and being raised by a single mom. Mike's story explores the question: How does a teen who's on the path to failure turn his life around?

Duration: 00:06:21

Remaining in the Flood Zone, Despite the Warnings

Staten Island was one of the areas hit hard by massive flooding from Sandy. Among the people that stayed, was the family of 17-year-old Tasina Berkey, a current Radio Rookie. Her family, like many of their neighbors, never experienced flooding like this before.

Duration: 00:03:14

Kelly Talks NYPD's Relationship with High Crime Neighborhoods

Two Radio Rookie reporters got a chance to sit down with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to discuss the tactics of his police force and its impact in the community.

Duration: 00:03:57

A Public Housing Education

More than 400,000 people live in public housing in New York City, and thousands more are on wait-lists for available apartments.? When Radio Rookie Winnie Guo?s family first moved into public housing, it felt like a big step up.? Then 14-year-old Winnie started wondering about how public housing can affect the aspirations and focus of kids who grow up there.

Duration: 00:05:07

Mind the Gap in Crown Heights

Four Radio Rookies, who are all very recent immigrants from the Caribbean, now attend high school in the heart of what was the epicenter of the Crown Heights riots 20 years ago.? But, as newcomers, the Rookies know nothing about the neighborhood?s fraught history.?

Duration: 00:05:23

"I Am Trayvon Martin"

I was shocked to hear about what happened to Trayvon Martin, but I wasn?t surprised that he was targeted because he was a black kid in a hooded sweatshirt.

Duration: 00:05:00

Graffiti Hall of Fame

Aired March, 2000. 15-year-old Jimmy Belfon Jr. reports on the Graffiti Hall of Fame, which covers the walls of his school playground. Jimmy says traveling the streets of New York City is like visiting a museum.

Duration: 00:04:42


Aired April, 2002. Christy Loo reports on what happened to her family after her dad got hit by a car and became permanently disabled.

Duration: 00:09:00


Aired October, 2003. 17-year-old Rizwan Aslam always sees Bashir -- a homeless man who walks with a cane and moves between nearby restaurants and shops. Rizwan's interest in Bashir set him on a mission to learn more about him.

Duration: 00:09:10


Fourteen-year-old Derrick gets in trouble a lot, and this often leads him to fight with his brothers. A big part of why Derrick loves football is that he can hit people -- without getting in trouble.

Duration: 00:15:09

Best Couple

Aired June, 2009. When seniors at a small public high school in the Bronx cast their votes for "Best Couple" earlier this year, they chose a pair they admire but who definitely defy the stereotype of best couple. Radio Rookie Vikky Cruz reports.

Duration: 00:06:14

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