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Youth Radio hosted an online chat conversation regarding youth unemployment in the United States. The forum attracted people of diverse age groups, offering both current, future, and past experiences with employment for youth. The intention of the chat was to converse around the skills gap, which according to employers seems to be the primary barrier for students and young adults.
Ideas and opinions of all kinds were present, ranging from accusations of a dysfunctional public school system, to the lack of industrious mentalities amongst students. The chat was filled with disagreements, agreements, and non-mainstream opinions regarding the current system of education:
“These people are the exception. We can’t believe that we can even be remotely successful without formal education.”
The many anonymous visitors and conversations included crucial perspectives from the public, and much agreed narrative about the unimportance of standardized testings in California. Well into the conversation the critiques on the SAT’s, ACT’s, and STAR testings were numerous and acknowledged.
“I so agree. Standardized testing really has no purposes.”
The chat wasn’t without personal reflection and testimonial. The forum was friendly and encouraging to the topic’s subject; the youth themselves. Guest spoke on their inabilities to find jobs or their awareness regarding the unfavorable job market. Frustration and incite ensued:
“My opinion on the matter is that frankly I been through looking for a job and having no success it is very hard with no support doing it at the library and taking the bus to job interviews but not get them because I was late.”
— Match Z representative 2300
The chat was a productive start to a very over-due public conversation about youth unemployment, and what better way to initiate this than utilizing a mouthpiece for youth, such as Youth Radio. Many people—especially the youth—walked away from this conversation with the knowledge that their voices had been heard.