Youth Radio Perspectives Archive

Producers in studio

Youth Radio has produced personal commentaries for Perspectives for more than a decade. Currently, they contribute one commentary a month. Below is an archive of their most recent work.

Youth Radio was founded in 1990 on the deeply held belief that underserved youth, ages 14-24 years old, have the creativity, technical skills, and entrepreneurial spirit to become leaders in the multi-media industry and in the community. Today, more than 300 Youth Radio reports and commentaries are broadcast each year on National Public Radio programs such as All Things Considered and Morning Edition, on-line outlets like and iTunes, and on public radio stations across the country.

Youth Radio Perspectives

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 14, 2016, 6:43 AM

Parents Behind Bars

1.7 million children have at least one parent who have spent time in prison. Youth Radio's Gabriela Alvarez is one of them.

Perspectives | Thursday, Dec 17, 2015, 6:43 AM

The Muslim Black Girl

Youth Radio's Ahmina James is both Black and Muslim and that confounds a lot of people, including her mother.

Perspectives | Thursday, Nov 19, 2015, 6:43 AM

The Tradeoffs of High School Football

With mounting evidence about the risks of concussions in football, fans are left to wonder about the future of the sport. Youth Radio's Garrison Pennington used to see the NFL in his future, but this year he began to question whether the risks of the game were worth it.

Perspectives | Thursday, Oct 22, 2015, 6:43 AM

Online Learning

Youth Radio's Nila Venkat weighs what's lost and what's gained when taking a course online instead of in the classroom.

Perspectives | Thursday, Sep 24, 2015, 6:43 AM

Voting Block

When it comes to politics, Youth Radio's Desmond Meagley says young voters like him don't care about party affiliation, only results.

Perspectives | Thursday, Aug 27, 2015, 6:43 AM

Transgender Identity

As he transitions to being male, Youth Radio's Cole Carman wrestles with whether to retain any part of his female identity.

Perspectives | Friday, Jul 31, 2015, 6:43 AM

College Prep

The most important preparation for college that Youth Radio's Soraya Shockley had to do didn't take place in the classroom.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jul 02, 2015, 6:43 AM

True Pride

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, record crowds came out for the San Francisco Pride Parade Sunday. Youth Radio commentator Joseph Gonzalez-Ruiz was there, but the transgender teen says he didn't feel included.

Perspectives | Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015, 6:43 AM

A Hard-Earned Degree

Youth Radio's Luis Flores has just received his degree from Berkeley. But for him and others like him, it wasn't easy.

Perspectives | Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6:43 AM

Standing Tall

For Youth Radio's Rafael Johns, the advantages of being taller than his peers have come at a cost.

Perspectives | Thursday, Apr 23, 2015, 6:43 AM

Keeping up my Mien Heritage

Kasey Saeturn struggles to maintain the language and tradition of her Lao immigrant family while pursuing her American Dream.

Perspectives | Thursday, Mar 26, 2015, 6:43 AM

Drop Out

Youth Radio's Desmond Meagley dropped out of high school, but not out of getting an education.

Perspectives | Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, 6:43 AM

Whispers of Racism

Life seemed better to Youth Radio's Isabella Ordaz when she moved to Danville. Then she heard what other students said behind her back.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 29, 2015, 6:43 AM

Parenting a Parent

Youth Radio's Hank Rugg's father was a teacher and guide, until a stroke suddenly reversed their roles.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 01, 2015, 7:35 AM

Burying the Hatchet

Youth Radio's Soraya Shockley didn't get along with her brother until a family road trip gave them common cause.

Perspectives | Thursday, Dec 04, 2014, 7:35 AM

Explaining Depression to My Family

Like many young people, Youth Radio's Amber Cavarlez struggles with depression. And her family's denial isn't helping.

Perspectives | Thursday, Nov 06, 2014, 7:35 AM

Wrong Side of the Digital Divide

Youth Radio's Catory Goodman has no access to a computer at home, and that's a big problem for her education.

Perspectives | Thursday, Oct 09, 2014, 7:35 AM

Life After a Shooting

The world of Youth Radio's Maya Escobar has been shaped by something commonplace to the life of her Oakland family — gunshots.

Perspectives | Thursday, Sep 11, 2014, 7:35 AM

Abusing Prescription Drugs

The growing problem of teenagers access to parents' prescription drugs is all too familiar to Youth Radio's Cyrus Abusada.

Perspectives | Thursday, Aug 14, 2014, 7:35 AM

Hard Contact

Youth Radio's Tom Hofmeister says a new anti-concussion law limiting hard contact during high school football practice is misguided.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jul 17, 2014, 7:35 AM

Positive HIV Protection

He's gay, black and sexually active. And Youth Radio's Nadji Dawkins praises the controversial HIV protection drug he's taking.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jun 19, 2014, 7:35 AM

Policing Cops in Schools

When Oakland public school classes begin again in the Fall, the district will have new policies limiting police activity. Youth Radio's Joi Smith comments on the change.

Perspectives | Thursday, May 22, 2014, 7:35 AM

Like How a Butterfly Sees

Youth Radio's Mikey Prizmich says understanding transgender people requires seeing the world in full color.

Perspectives | Thursday, Apr 24, 2014, 7:35 AM


It's spring. Romance is in the air. But not for everyone, including Youth Radio's Rafael Johns.

Perspectives | Thursday, Mar 27, 2014, 7:35 AM

A Risk Worth Taking

An Obama administration reform gives undocumented Luz Elena Hernandez a chance to pursue her dream, but it's shaky ground.

Perspectives | Thursday, Feb 27, 2014, 7:35 AM

Teenage Fangirl

Youth Radio's Sophie Varon caught Bieber Fever at a young age and she's not cooling off.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 30, 2014, 7:35 AM


His autism diagnosis devastated Youth Radio's Femi Ajala. Then, he discovered his superpower.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 02, 2014, 7:35 AM

Choosing My Religion

Youth Radio's Bianca Brooks never questioned her parents' religion until she was exposed to other faiths.

Perspectives | Thursday, Dec 05, 2013, 7:35 AM

Young Invincible Needs Obamacare

Youth Radio's Rayana Godfrey may be young, but she's not immortal and she needs health insurance.

Perspectives | Thursday, Nov 07, 2013, 7:35 AM

And You Are?

Youth Radio's Ashley Williams attends a family funeral but most of the "family" are complete strangers.

Perspectives | Thursday, Oct 10, 2013, 7:35 AM

There Are No Children In Oakland

They say it's a small world. For Youth Radio's Joshua Clayton his Oakland world is small and terribly mean.

Perspectives | Thursday, Sep 05, 2013, 7:35 AM

Education Interrupted

The controversy over CCSF's future has Youth Radio's Morgan Boeder worried about the future of her education.

Perspectives | Thursday, Aug 15, 2013, 7:35 AM

Help Along the Way

Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo learns that even independent people need to ask for help sometimes

Perspectives | Thursday, Jul 18, 2013, 7:35 AM

From Oscar to Trayvon

Youth Radio's Pendarvis Harshaw draws parallels between the stories of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jun 20, 2013, 7:35 AM

I Speak Computer

Youth Radio's Saleeha Bey revels in learning a new language -- computer programming.

Perspectives | Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7:35 AM

Piece of Mind

Youth Radio's Jahlil Jackson resists constant pressure to carry a gun.

Perspectives | Thursday, Apr 25, 2013, 7:35 AM

Parlez-Vous Programming?

Forget French. Youth Radio's Christina So says the language to learn is computer programming.

Perspectives | Thursday, Mar 28, 2013, 7:35 AM


Without a high school diploma Youth Radio's Joshua Clayton's got nothing but bad choices.

Perspectives | Thursday, Feb 28, 2013, 7:35 AM

Pronunciation Pronouncement

Youth Radio's Sheila Blandon allowed her name to be mispronounced for almost two decades before correcting people.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 31, 2013, 7:35 AM

Chess Mate

Chess may be a game, but a mentor taught Youth Radio's Chris Alsobrook that it's really a way of thinking.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jan 03, 2013, 7:35 AM

Online Privacy

Youth Radio's Malachi Segers wants to limit the personal information he shares online.

Perspectives | Thursday, Dec 06, 2012, 7:35 AM

Searching for Dad

Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo never knew his father -- and at 20 the object of his search has changed direction.

Perspectives | Thursday, Nov 08, 2012, 7:35 AM

Who's Fat and Who's Not?

Youth Radio's Bria Bryant finds the link between body image and health isn't a simple formula.

Perspectives | Thursday, Oct 11, 2012, 7:35 AM

Branch and Root

Youth Radio's Bianca Brooks discovers that her family tree has unexpected branches and roots.

Perspectives | Thursday, Sep 13, 2012, 7:35 AM

One Man's Education

Youth Radio's Carlyn Bynes wants to change the image of poor, black Oakland youth.

Perspectives | Thursday, Aug 16, 2012, 7:35 AM

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Youth Radio's Venus Morris finds that changing teen eating habits is about much more than food.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jul 19, 2012, 7:35 AM

All in the Family

Many generations of Youth Radio's Rayana Godfrey's family are living under one roof.

Perspectives | Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, 7:35 AM

Wrong Track?

Youth Radio's Bianca Brooks examines the effects of academic tracking at her Oakland high school.

Perspectives | Thursday, May 24, 2012, 7:35 AM

Voter Prep

At 18, Youth Radio's Kayla Seay feels unprepared to cast an informed vote.

Perspectives | Thursday, Apr 26, 2012, 7:35 AM

Bullet Points to Happiness

Youth Radio's Rayana Godfrey is handed a list of what it will take to make her happy.