Intro from Jay Allison: The Radio Rookies are not what you're used to hearing on public radio. That's one reason we're featuring them on Transom. We'd like to hear more. Another reason is to urge you to engage the Rookies in conversation. They'll be dropping by the discussion boards to see what you have to say about their work, the way they used the radio, how they told their stories. Ask them questions. The stories are all pretty short, and they're worth your time.
My story is on something that happened to me when I was 14 years old. I tried to commit suicide and I landed in a mental institution. I share my story about what it was like and why I did it. I interview my mom, the doctor who counseled me at the time, my friend from the institution, and I talk about how I’ve changed since then.
Linda’s mentor is Subrata De.
Since she moved to the Bronx from Suriname at age 12, Judith hasn’t felt she fits in with any group. Dutch is her first language. She wants to be an opera singer. She’s black. In Junior High, her peers wondered why she couldn’t sing like ‘Monica.’ In High School, she remembers a girl from an African-American club telling her, “Dutch is not a Black language.” She did not take up arms, as some outcasts have — instead she took up poetry.
Judith’s mentor is Jessie Graham.
A year and a half ago, I dropped out of school. The teachers didn’t have enough books to give us, there were too many kids in classes, and some teachers gave me a hard time. Sometimes we’d come out fighting, so to avoid that situation, I left school. I DID get something out of it — knowledge. In my story, I investigate my own reasons for dropping out, talk to other students who’ve dropped out, interview the principal at the school I was at, and record myself and my tutor at Make The Road By Walking. I also talk about my plans for the future.
Macho’s mentor is Kerry Donahue
I am from Mexico and I know little English. It is difficult for me and for other new immigrants to learn English. My story is about my adventures as a Spanish speaker in New York. I interview my principal, my English teacher, my friends and my mom. I also show you how I try to improve my English by listening to music and singing along.
Karla’s mentor is Matt Abramovitz
Janesse Nieves, aka Nesse
Janesse says she and her mother have one thing in common — they were both betrayed by Janesse’s father. He left them for Heroin when she was only a school girl. Janesse takes her microphone to her father’s house to try to convince him he should leave Heroin alone. But she can’t convice him to stop. A clinical expert tells her there’s nothing she can do, but she finds that hard to believe.
Janesse’s mentor is Beth Fertig
Enjoying this feature?
Help Transom get new work and voices to public radio by donating now.
About Radio Rookies
Radio Rookies is a WNYC program that trains young people to use words and sounds to tell true stories about themselves, their communities and the world. Through a series of workshops, each held in a new neighborhood, Radio Rookies gives teenagers the tools to become radio journalists. More about Radio Rookies.
Radio Rookies is currently made possible by a generous grant from the Youth Initiatives Program of the Open Society Institute and is run by WNYC Radio in New York.
“Working with the Rookies is inspiring. While sometimes they fear their first interviews with strangers, they often take risks without a second thought. The Radio Rookies are thoughtful, funny, honest and open. They reveal to us and listeners intimate details about their lives and they really let all of us know them through their stories, even at the cost of embarrassment.
When their stories are done, they start to realize how limitless their potential is. Seeing their talent find an outlet and hearing them develop their ideas as they see the power of their voices is rewarding and truly a breath of fresh air.”