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! 

“Youth Radio 101” at the AMC 2012

By Beth Patel

Yowei and I returned from Detroit a little more than a week ago, though it seems like our weekend there was just yesterday! We were representing Philly Youth Radio at this year’s Allied Media Conference (AMC). The AMC, now in its 14th year, brings together artists, technologists, educators, activists and others for the goal of developing “media strategies for a more just and creative world”. It’s what the Huffington Post calls “as much an experiment in social organizing as it is a conference on media and technology.”  Well, we thought the AMC could use a little taste of Youth Radio served up Philly style! Thanks to the support of the Prometheus Radio Project and the rest of the organizing members of the Community Radio Track, Yowei and I were able to host a workshop titled “Youth Radio 101”.

We had participants from New Orleans, Hudson, NY, California, and even some students from Philly. We started off by explaining what youth radio is and its impact on the community, students, teachers, and media at large.

We then launched into a full tutorial on interviewing. Through a series of role-playing exercises (the participants got to ask me all kinds of questions!), our key tips to interviewing were presented.  We also had all the participants interview one another on questions regarding their participation with media, such as: Who would you interview (living or dead) and what would you ask them? Describe a time the media got it wrong, what would you have done differently? and What was the first time you participated in making media?

Finally, we ended the workshop with a mini-lesson on how to teach youth radio. We shared many of the resources that we found helpful during our formative year and took questions from the participants.

The next day, Yowei mixed the audio collected during the interview portion of the workshop and put together some awesome sound bites. These were broadcast over AMC’s Really Rad Radio during our hour-long show, where we also played our student’s work from our last two projects.

Thanks to all the organizers of the AMC and participants. We walked away feeling inspired and with a lot of new connections and friends.

One final note/reminder: please remember to check out our Indiegogo campaign. If you can’t donate, please share with your friends and family. We need your support to continue our work. Thanks!

Nyseem on WHYY

If you can tune into WHYY this evening (91FM), do it! Newsworks Tonight will be airing Nyseem’s piece on his sanctuary. Newsworks Tonight is on at 6pm- listen in and tell us what you think!

If you can’t tune in, here is Nyseem’s piece:

Great job, Nyseem!

Thanks Philly STAKE!

Yowei and I had an awesome time at Philly STAKE this past Sunday. Not only did we get to hear about wonderful initiatives happening across Philadelphia- from micro algae to animal rescue- but we also were voted runner-up by the crowd! We walked away with a bag o’ money to use towards our next project. We will be putting the money towards recording equipment, stipends for our students, and materials for our workshops. Our next series will be focused around the theme of love and relationships. We’re really excited! 


Thank you to all the volunteers who made this event happen but also we are sending a huge thank you to the attendees who voted for us! We got to dine on some awesome food: Stake Pickles, BLT’s, Mushroom/Smoked Cheddar Sandwiches, potato salad, etc. If you’ve never attended a Stake event before, we highly recommend checking it out!  


Dear Friends and Supporters of Philly Youth Radio,

We are excited to say that we have been selected to present our project at the next Philly STAKE dinner on Sunday, June 24th, 5-8pm at Bartrum’s Garden (54th and Lindbergh Blvd).

Philly STAKE is a locally sourced, recurring dinner in which money is raised for creative & relevant community engaged projects. We will be among seven groups giving 3-minute pitches for our projects to diners, who will then vote on which project to fund.

We are hoping to raise money at this dinner for our third season of Philly Youth Radio, which will take place this fall and focus on the theme of love and relationships. (I know – exciting right?)

Please purchase tickets and come out for a delicious meal and support Philly Youth Radio! We are planning on giving the other groups a run for their money. You can get tickets here and check out the project proposals here.

Hope to see you all there!

Yowei & Beth