Apply for the 2020-2021 KQED Youth Takeover

The Santa Clara High School journalism class of 2019-2020, participants in the Youth Takeover 2020. (Courtesy of Bob Ansaldo)

For one week in the spring, KQED’s airwaves are taken over by San Francisco Bay Area high school students. The KQED Youth Takeover features stories written and produced by students on the issues that matter to them. Past Takeovers have included topics like school closures due to the coronavirus, identity, mental health and the environment. These incredible youth voices are amplified and given an authentic audience through KQED’s broadcast, podcast and online programming—on shows like The California Report Magazine, Perspectives, Forum, Newsroom and other local favorites.

To get these powerful stories on the air, KQED partners with Bay Area high school classrooms during the entire school year, to help students pitch, write and produce audio feature stories destined for broadcast. Students receive feedback and guidance from KQED journalists and education professionals, and validation that their stories are important and want to be heard by their greater community.

If you teach in the Bay Area and want to involve your class next year, complete the application by August 1. Journalism and media arts classes are encouraged to apply, but any class can participate.

“Meeting the reporters and providing a chance for students to express what they really wanted to express was empowering,” said John Giambruno, a media arts teacher at Menlo-Atherton High School from the 2020 Youth Takeover. “And having another adult besides me, the teacher, tell students that they want to hear their stories, inspired many students to do more.”

“The Youth Takeover offers [my students] significant validation, support, critique and collaboration in an expanded professional media-scape."

Corey Mason, a broadcast teacher at El Cerrito High School, has been participating in the Youth Takeover every year since its inception in 2018. “The Youth Takeover offers [my students] significant validation, support, critique and collaboration in an expanded professional media-scape. I am very impressed with the generosity, talent, communications, authenticity and consistency demonstrated by KQED Youth Takeover personnel. I literally am rising from my chair to offer a standing ovation.”

“It opened up my students' eyes to another method of thinking about and collecting the important stories all around them."

Jorge Goncalves, a media arts teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, who also participated in the 2020 Youth Takeover, emphasized the student impact of this program. “It opened up my students' eyes to another method of thinking about and collecting the important stories all around them, especially for those who feel more comfortable expressing themselves through words, instead of on video or through images.”

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Browse through the archives of student reporting from the past three Youth Takeovers and see for yourself the wide array of topics and perspectives youth from the Bay Area offer to their community.

If you are a San Francisco Bay Area teacher who is interested in joining the 2020/2021 Youth Takeover Cohort, learn more about the program and apply by August 1. Note that we have adapted the program to work for on-campus, remote or blended classes.