Youth are the Product
Training is the foundation for everything we do at Youth Radio. All participants who begin in training are prepared to matriculate into media related education and career pathways. Each Youth Radio staff plays a part in the development of our youth participants. As a means of ensuring a consistent Youth Radio “product”, we as a staff adhere to the following youth development principles:
• Our youth are the foundation for everything we do
• We are committed to Youth Radio being a safe space for our participants (both emotionally & physically)
• We will have clear expectations for our youth
• We will hold ourselves and the youth accountable to consistent and high standards
• We are always facilitating the development of our youth—and recognize we are responsible for the whole student (not simply the aspect we are entrusted to teach)
• We are not friends with the youth we serve, rather caring adult allies
• We are preparing youth for something outside of YR’s safe space
• We are creating avenues of actual leadership for the youth within the organization
What We Do
Youth Radio offers a range of free training opportunities in broadcast journalism, radio, video, music and web production, engineering, media advocacy and literacy. Using new media and technology as a “hook”, our organization provides stable, long-term guidance for youth as they transition from middle to high school, from high school to college, and into meaningful career paths.
Youth Radio programs are open to youth ages 14-18, with advanced programs open to young adults up to 24 years of age. Since our inception in 1992, we have focused our outreach efforts on underserved youth populations. Currently, our high-school youth focus emphasizes girls (55%), low-income youth (80%) and young people of color (80%).
Our current training offering out of Youth Radio Oakland includes:
Offered quarterly, Core is Youth Radio’s flagship introductory media training program for Bay Area high-school students aged 14-18. Over the course of 11-weeks, participants develop radio and broadcast journalism skills, which include news and commentary writing, PSA production, on-air announcing and interviewing, board operation, and music programming. They also experience music and video production, sound design, and round out their technical experience with intensive media literacy. All Core graduates earn high school credit through a partnership with the local Regional Occupational Program (ROP), while junior and senior Core graduates earn Peralta Community College credit.
Running concurrently each quarter with Core is Youth Radio’s intermediate level media training program, Bridge. Specifically designed for Core graduates, Bridge students continue their radio broadcast skill training through the production of solo shows. Additionally, they specialize in a media skill they surveyed in Core, “majoring” in music production and sound design, video production, or journalism.
MATCH (Media Advocates Transforming Community Health)
A 6-month intensive health-focused, leadership, education, professional soft skills, and media training designed for Oakland youth aged 14-18 who have recently been released from Alameda County’s Juvenile Justice Center. MATCH graduates are tracked into 3-6 month internship opportunities in Youth Radio’s Health Department as peer health advocates. MATCH is supported through the City of Oakland’s Measure Y Violence Prevention and Safety Funds, and is focused on providing employment opportunities during the after-school hours.
Camp Wilmont Sweeney
For nearly 10 years, Youth Radio has provided a variety of media training workshops to the residents of Camp Wilmont Sweeney. Currently, Youth Radio is piloting an innovative 11-week training focused on utilizing sports media as a means of addressing larger behavior health issues related to manhood, masculinity, violence, and sex.
Graduates of Youth Radio’s Bridge and MATCH programs are eligible for Youth Radio’s internships. Viewed internally as the advanced stage of training, internships are available throughout Youth Radio in the Training, Production, Tech and Engineering, Health, and Administrative Departments. Interns are hired quarterly through a competitive application process. Currently, Youth Radio employs 50+ interns.
EMP (Emerging Media Professionals)
Available to former Youth Radio interns, the EMP Program offers a 6-month employment opportunity designed for youth ages 18-24. Youth involved in the EMP Program enhance their public speaking, group facilitation, community networking, journalism, and media production and distribution skills. A key component of the program is transitioning youth into media education and career paths, by designing individualized action plans that focus on enhanced leadership opportunities.
Youth Radio places select youth alumni into job shadowing and mentorship opportunities at media, communications technology, health, and social justice organizations, in addition to local private and public partners.
Media Education, Production Programs & Technical Assistance
For local youth, institutions and community groups, Youth Radio offers media workshops, technical assistance and production services.
Youth Radio's Core and Bridge programs are part of the Get Connected! initiative, a project of the California Emerging Technology Fund.
The Youth Radio Digital Pathway is possible with generous funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act within the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). CETF provides leadership statewide to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment of broadband and other advanced communication services to underserved communities and populations.