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Behind the Scenes at Youth Takeover 2022

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Milpitas High School students came to KQED headquarters to record their pieces for Youth Takeover 2022. (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

Students share what it’s really like to be part of the Takeover

KQED Youth Takeover is a year-long program that partners with high school classrooms to support students as they write, perform and produce audio feature stories destined for KQED’s broadcast, podcast, and online programming. Students get hands-on experience using the tools and programs journalists use to record and produce original audio pieces. Some classrooms also visit the KQED headquarters in San Francisco to get to experience our production studios and use KQED equipment to produce their stories.

Get a glimpse into what this was like through students’ reflections and check out their original media creations linked below!

Stories from Behind-the-Scenes

Vanessa Lule, Independent High School 
Vanessa Lule recording on the roof deck at KQED. (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

“KQED Youth Takeover in Mr. Chelsky’s class at Independence High school was a great experience for developing my media skills and confidence. Being able to record my own podcast with my own perspective on the topic made me more interested in the course. I was excited by the opportunity to submit my own podcast to be on the KQED Youth Media Challenge Showcase. I had fun seeing the behind-the-scenes work and participating in a few audio activities. By taking this media course and visiting KQED, I feel much more confident in my skills and even in pursuing a career in this field.”

Samantha Ruiz, Hilltop High School 
Samantha Ruiz (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

“KQED’s Youth Takeover has allowed me to spread my perspective on motherhood and forgiveness on a large scale through the podcast medium. Expressing myself through this podcast has allowed me to speak with honesty about a painful moment in my life. My hope is that it will encourage other people to share their story and teach others how to voice their trauma and begin to overcome it.”

Steven Buks, George Washington High School 
Steven Buks (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

“I am very grateful to KQED for giving me and my peers the opportunity to project ourselves to a wider audience [through Youth Takeover]. I also really enjoyed the field trip to KQED HQ as I was able to see the technical aspects of how media is made and the effects it has on others.”

Emerald Yu, Abraham Lincoln High School 
Emerald Yu (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

“I had so much fun using field recording equipment during our field trip to KQED headquarters! It was fun and educational. My podcast captures a part of me that I want to remember. I put a lot of thought into what I said and what I left out. I want [my podcast] to inspire others.”

Jessie Lin, Woodside High School 
Jessie Lin (Amanda Vigil / KQED)

“I was thrilled when I first heard that KQED was teaming up with my journalism class to write a Perspective. I remember our first drafts being looked over by the Youth Media team and they were giving us small tips and honest feedback, allowing us to grow. I felt like a kid in a candy store when we hopped into a bus headed for the headquarters. I remember waking up early to hear my piece when it finally aired. I was so happy and proud, but what I didn’t know was that many others related to my story. I remember my social media blowing up with friends and family showering the piece with praise and I got a message from an old friend saying that my Perspective made them feel a little bit less alone in the world.”

Teachers: Get involved!

Sound like an incredible opportunity for your students? Applications are open for the 2022-23 Youth Takeover Cohort. If you are a high school educator in the nine Bay Area counties and want to amplify your students’ voices, apply now! If you’re not in the Bay Area and interested in sharing your students’ voices with a greater audience, check out our KQED Youth Media Challenges.


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