Youth Radio’s Top 15 Stories of 2015

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splasg_bgWest Side Stories: Gentrification in West Oakland

West Side Stories is an interactive map of West Oakland, filled with original videos, audio interview clips, and illustrated icons showing how the neighborhood is changing. When we talk about gentrification, we tend to reduce it to one story: newcomers displace longtime residents, erasing history and disrupting culture in the process. The Youth Radio team behind West Side Stories, many of whom are living through dramatic neighborhood change, felt that newcomers to a neighborhood–especially one with the civil rights significance of West Oakland–should know something about the place’s history if they are making homes there. 



Unlocked FRONT PAGEUnlocked: An Investigation Into Juvenile Incarceration and its Alternatives

Reported over four months, Unlocked is a three-part investigation into alternatives to juvenile incarceration–both model programs and cases that raise serious concerns.  From Alameda County in San Francisco’s East Bay, to Wayne County, Michigan, Youth Radio reveals how moves away from juvenile incarceration are affecting youth and the system. 




DSC05652Pandora, Uber, And Beyond: Tech Comes To Oakland

Oakland is already changing with the arrival of tech. But the question is: will the tech industry change too, and become more diverse, as more companies move in?






Gender Fluid Generation: Evolving Gender Norms At School

In many ways, it seems like gender non-conformity awareness is at all-time high. According to a 2015 poll, young people increasingly see gender as not just limited to male and female. The torchbearers of gender fluidity aren’t just celebrities or politicians, they’re kids. But schools are still catching up with the needs of gender nonconforming students, as Youth Radio’s Nanette Thompson reports. 




gun emoji hearo shot

The Great Gun Emoji Debate

Out of the nearly 900 emoji options available to U.S. teenagers, the gun is one of the most popular, ranking in the top ten percent. But lately, the gun emoji has been landing some people in hot water. Young people tend to be savvier about these things. But there’s still room for misunderstanding. Youth Radio Reporter Tylyn Hardamon explores how teens  use the gun emoji in their everyday conversations.





Teens Say Drought Makes California’s Tap Water Taste Funky

The ongoing coverage of California’s historic drought paints a pretty grim picture. Empty reservoirs and severe water use restrictions and hefty fines for residents. The drought has been going on for since 2011, and for teenagers living in the state, most of their adolescence has been spent in these dry conditions. Youth Radio’s Savannah Robinson explores how teens are coping.



image1 (1)Gun Access Can Turn Suicidal Thoughts Into Actions

When a 23-year-old who has tried to kill himself visits family, he must mentally prepare to resist hurting himself with their guns, he says. Gun access can make suicidal impulses harder to fend off, as Youth Radio’s Desmond Meagley reports. 












When Parents Can No Longer Parent

Growing up, my dad was the gatekeeper to my confidence and motivation.  And then without warning, he had a heart attack and a stroke when I was 16.  The tables turned, and suddenly it was me taking care of him.







BiancaBrooks_DNCThe Power of Youth And Radio on World Radio Day

2015’s World Radio Day theme was “youth and radio.” At 14 years old, and through her high school years, Youth Radio’s Bianca Brooks started learning about journalism, and reporting on a variety of issues on many platforms – video, online apps, and radio. She liked radio most of all.







As he transitions to being male, Youth Radio's Cole Carman, 18, wrestles with whether to retain any part of his female past. Some Men Are Born And Some Men Are Made

After months of preparation — working up the courage to come to terms with my identity and mandatory counseling — I was finally meeting up with my doctor to begin my transition and start taking male hormones. But I was thrown off when my doctor handed me a pamphlet about planning for my future fertility. She asked if I was interested in freezing my eggs before I started taking male hormones.






Summer of Minecraft CampSummer Camp Where Kids Interact Virtually

This past summer, more than 2,000 kids around the country participated in the Summer of Minecraft Camp — a “virtual” summer camp where pre-teens log in from home in their pajamas and complete challenges with the help of online teenage counselors. While video games usually get a negative rap for teaching kids bad habits and manners, organizers say that games like Minecraft can actually teach important online social skills.






Double Jointed: The Science Behind Turf Dancing

Turf dancers put their bodies on the line every time they go out and perform. Naturally, they are concerned about whether or not they are causing damage to their limbs and joints. iDummy, aka Levi Allen, meets with sports medicine doctor and former Cirque Du Soleil performer to discuss the science behind the style of dance called “bone breaking”.


Bullet In The Bedroom

One research study published by the NIH surveyed 4 thousand urban residents in Atlanta and found 30 percent had signs of PTSD. Signs of PTSD can look different in teens compared to adults. The world of Maya Escobar has been shaped by something commonplace to families like hers in Oakland — gunshots. In this animated video, Maya explores a traumatic event in her childhood and the fear that remains.


The Hazards of Growing Up on Treasure Island: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Some residents who live on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay are concerned about exposure to toxins, because many areas on the island have been marked as radioactive. Young people who live there  worry about potential health risks.


Warriors Championship Parade Recap 2015

Short video highlighting the Warriors Championship Parade in Oakland, Ca.

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