A Very PYR Showcase: Stories and Goodbyes

Yep. It’s true. We made it to the final showcase at WHYY!

Philly Youth Radio Showcase 20

But before we unveil this season’s stories, we want to share some of our celebration with you, mainly through the amazing pictures that photographer Carina Giamerese took for us.

Philly Youth Radio Showcase 01

The evening got off to a great start. We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to fill the huge WHYY auditorium, but we did! Supporters, volunteers, friends, family, and students joined us for a night of youth media. After screening their stories on love and relationships, Dinh, Jaya, and Yingci came up on stage for a behind-the-scenes panel discussion on their stories and reporting process. They answered questions like pros – even the ones from the audience!

Philly Youth Radio Showcase 07

Philly Youth Radio Showcase 09

Then, Beth and I talked about what Philly Youth Radio has meant to us over the years, how we’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished with our students, and why the project will be on hiatus for now. We ended the night with shout-outs, a Philly Youth Radio tradition where we appreciate people for specific things and then snap fingers. Of course, our students got the final, biggest shout-out – as well as certificates, roses, and their stipends.

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And there you have it! Another successful season of Philly Youth Radio wrapped up. We’re so glad you joined us for the ride and are excited to present our stories to you. Enjoy!

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“To Date or Not to Date – That is the Chinese Immigrant Teenager’s Question” by Yingci Chen

PYR – Yingci from aidan un on Vimeo.

“What Twilight Didn’t Teach Me About Love” by Jaya Montague

PYR – Jaya from aidan un on Vimeo.

“Head Over Heels for Cooking” by Dinh To

PYR – DINH from aidan un on Vimeo.

PYR on WHYY 90.9 FM for Valentine’s Day!

Stories from the current season of Philly Youth Radio will be airing February 13th and 14th on WHYY 90.9 FM!

Tune in to hear the stories of Jaya Montague and Yingci Chen, on the FM radio dial or online at http://www.whyy.org/91FM/live.php on NewsWorks Tonight from 6 – 6:30 pm.

And remember to please join us for our special showcase at WHYY on 2/26 to see our final audio slideshows and meet the reporters at a panel discussion.
Watch the beautiful trailer for the radio showcase created by Aiden Un: http://vimeo.com/59120070

Philly Youth Radio Presents: 
“At the Heart, From the Heart”
Join us on February 26th
At WHYY (150 N. 6th St.) 
Snacks and Good Audio/Visual Stories will be served. 

Philly Youth Radio Showcase!


On February 26th, PHILLY YOUTH RADIO presents “AT THE HEART, FROM THE HEART”, a series of audio/visual stories reflecting on love and relationships. 

Join us for a SHOWCASE and CELEBRATION of these stories, a panel discussion with our youth radio reporters, and of course, snacks! We will be gathered at WHYY (150 N. 6th St.) on February 26th at 6pm. This is a youth friendly space and all ages are welcome. Come ready to enjoy some youth media!

Since last October, Philly Youth Radio has held weekly audio production workshops where high school students learn how to pitch story ideas, conduct interviews, use audio recording equipment, write scripts, track narration, and edit audio – all with the guidance of professional radio producer volunteers.

Please share this invitation with others and come join us!


Youth radio producers making final touches on their own love stories

By Matthew Graber

Philly Youth Radio has been making leaps and bounds on the stories of season three. For the past two weeks, we’ve been in the studios at WHYY, recording narration and editing the final productions.


Dinh editing her story on Pro Tools




Erin and Yingci!

This comes after weeks of interviews with friends, family, and strangers; selecting the best audio from those interviews; and writing and editing (and editing, and editing…) scripts.

Looks like we’re coming to the final weeks of season three of Philly Youth Radio!


We’ll be having a listening party at WHYY on the evening of February 26 – where you can listen to our stories and meet our reporters. More to come on this!

A Report on PYR Workshops: Philly Youth are Story Tellers!

By Matthew Graber

For the past two weeks, Philly Youth Radio has been working with the students to hone and develop their stories, and prepare them to create audio magic. The students have learned how to use their audio recorders, and how to capture sound elements for their stories.

Combined with these technical skills, the students have also continued to edit and conceptualize their stories. They’ve mapped out their stories, identified sources, and written interview questions in preparation for the reporting ahead. It’s hard work, but also exciting to witness our students explore matters of the heart so bravely.

Dinh poses tough questions to Yingci on love and relationships.

We hope you’ll stay with us, as students gather their audio and begin crafting their stories. We may even have audio samples of their work to share with you soon!

Interview skill charades and other radio-learning adventures

By Matthew Graber

On Friday, October 26, Philly Youth Radio had our third workshop of this season, and we had a great time. The students are hard at work developing their radio stories on the topic of “Love and relationships,” revealing details of their own lives which are, quite honestly, seldom explored, discussed, or even imagined by grown-ups like me.

But we don’t want Philly Youth Radio to only be about hard work. We’re also having a great time collaborating with this charismatic collective of courageous young adults. Take the activity that we did this past week: Interview skill charades. Students were given worksheets with tips for conducting a successful interview. The catch? Students and facilitators then had to demonstrate how to do – or not to do – the interview tips.

A few examples of the tips which we acted out with students:

“Record in the quietest place.”
“Put the people at ease: talk about the weather. Joke about the microphone.”
“Watch out for uh-huhs and laughter from yourself.”
“Maintain eye contact.”
“Push for specific stories and telling details rather than generic impressions or positions.”

We feel confident about our students’ stories, and that they’re gaining the skills to craft and share them. Soon they’ll be taking recorders home, collecting sounds, and conducting interviews for their stories.

Thanks for following our work!

Creative juices flowing in workshop #2

By Matthew Graber

For our second workshop, some students came with story ideas in hand, eager to share their tales of love and relationships. Other students developed stories over the course of the workshop, responding to prompts and developing narratives rich with colorful characters and soundscapes drawn from their lives as teenagers living in Philly.

First, students contributed ideas for story prompts: “Is there such a thing as true love?” “Love advice 101” “My heart skipped a beat when…” “Broken hearted” And dozens of other stimulating ideas to respond to.


Then, students chose their favorite prompts and elaborated on why they liked them.

Finally, students and teachers collaborated together, working in small groups to develop story ideas – complete with focus statements, goals, conflicts, stakes, sound elements, and possible resolutions.

And have these young people got stories for us all!

Stay tuned to hear them… Next week, we’ll be covering the difficult art of interviewing and preparing our students to go out into the world with recorders and microphones.

Season 3 Launches

By Matthew Graber

First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Matt Graber, and I will be assisting Yowei and Beth as a facilitator, educator, and digital media guru for season three of Philly Youth Radio. I am a radio producer and broadcaster on West Philadelphia’s community radio station, WPEB 88.1 FM. I also have experience teaching in schools from preschool through high school.

I am humbled and incredibly excited to contribute to PYR. I know that I’ll learn a lot from Beth and Yowei, and I’m also looking forward to contributing to the educational process and making great radio!

But enough about me.

On Friday, October 12, Philly Youth Radio kicked off our third season with six students joining Beth, Yowei, and me at Asian Arts Initiative  in Philly.

This season will run until January, and we hope to publish the students’ final radio pieces in February. The theme: Love and Relationships.

(L to R) Brandon, Kianna, and Yingci read the syllabus of Philly Youth Radio

Our first week featured a discussion of radio – “Why is youth radio important?” – and outlined our expectations for one another and for the class. We went over the syllabus, had students introduce themselves to the class using recording equipment, and then listened to a radio story created during last season of PYR.

We jumped right into the educational process, reviewing the elements of radio, and beginning to go over what it takes to compose a sound-rich, entertaining, and insightful story for radio.

Jaya and Nikyle participate in an exercise identifying the elements of a radio piece.

Finally, we finished the workshop getting everybody’s thoughts and reactions to several topics: “Who would you like to hear you on the radio?”; “How do you feel about the topic of ‘Love and Relationships’?”; ethics in journalism; and story ideas on the theme and idea of love and relationships.

Beth reviews responses to the question, “Who would you like to hear you on the radio?”

Our first workshop showed that the class is composed of a group of insightful, caring, thoughtful, and courageous individuals. Though we only spent a couple of hours together, our discussions and activities showed that we have a whole lot to look forward to in this season of Philly Youth Radio. Next week, we’ll be reviewing radio story ideas and pitching stories.

We hope you’ll follow our work. We’re all getting to know one another better, and we can’t wait to introduce to you – our audience – the tremendous cast of young leaders attending our workshops.

A Message from PYR to You!

By Beth Patel

Usually this blog is your source for updates on PYR news. I post pictures and share media from our most recent events. However, I want to focus on something a little different from our previous blog posts. Instead of our usual updates, I want to ask the question, “So, why is youth media important, anyway?”

One answer that comes to many minds is the chance to provide young people with the skills and training they need to succeed in this new information economy.  And this is valid. Yes, we want young people to succeed. We want to see them with job skills. However, I see the importance of youth media as much bigger.

Youth media is a means to a much larger end. It’s a means for young people to learn about self-exploration and identity. It’s a tool for critical thinking and community engagement. For a young person, an opportunity to participate in youth media is a means to share what they think about issues in their community.  It’s a platform to participate in media at large- which generally excludes the voices of young people. When you were a teenager, did you ever wish you could share your story? That desire for self-expression is in all of us. Youth media is a means to share.

PYR needs your support to continue our work in the world of youth media. We care about our students and want to give them the best youth radio experience we can, which we can only do with your help. Please share our Indiegogo Campaign with your friends and networks. Give what you can- every little bit helps.

Check out the newest ways to get involved in PYR!

Philly Youth Radio has some exciting news! We are ready to start accepting applications for our next season of PYR! 

Download the application here! 

PYR is also seeking interns. Learn more about the internships offered here. 

We’re excited to launch our next season. Please share these opportunities! 

Stay tuned!