Dayton Youth Radio

WYSO is committed to putting local voices on the air. We give local voices the time and space to tell their own stories, in their own words, without commercial interruptions. Our Community Voices training program for adults has been doing this since 2011. In 2014 we expanded that program to include high school students. They are the future of Dayton – and they have a lot to say.

Dayton Youth Radio project manager Basim Blunt teaches broadcasting and storytelling skills to high school students. Basim works with about 45 teenagers each year from various schools in the Miami Valley, guiding each students' story from the classroom to the WYSO airwaves.

We plan to keep diversifying the types of schools we work with. In 2016-17 we continued to serve Dayton’s urban core by working with Ponitz Career Technology Center and Stivers School for the Arts, but also worked with the suburbs (Centerville High School), a rural district (Tecumseh High School) and a private school (Miami Valley School).

Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council

Lillian Ferguson
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Firefighters have two families, the one that they run into burning buildings with and the one that waits for them at home. As Dayton Youth Radio contributors work on these stories, they sometimes interview their parents, and this is the center of  Lillian Ferguson’s story; a rainy night, and a bad accident that her father responded to.

9-1-1: A Teenager Talks About A Health Scare

Apr 5, 2018
Scott Lyttle
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Health and strength seem like a given when we're young. And so, for a teenager to have a near death story is somewhat unusual. When I met Scott Lyttle at a meeting of our radio class, he told me he was 19 years old, and I wanted to know why he was still in high school. He shared the story of his lost year.

I’m Scott Lyttle, a 19- year old that goes to Ponitz. I also like to draw.  I want to tell you a story about the day my life almost changed last year. I woke up, got ready for school. I got to school and had a normal day until I got to the gym.

Carmen Tibbs
Basim Blunt / WYSO

When there is drug overdose, the Center for Disease Control adds it to the statistics. And Ohio is at the top for drug deaths.  Dayton Youth Radio producer Carmen Tibbs, told our youth radio class that Dayton had the highest mortality rates from drug overdoses in the country. I remember wondering why would a 17-year old know such a grim and compelling statistic.

Adriana Harris
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Dayton Youth Radio gives teenagers a chance to tell their own stories, in their own words. And we hear them trying to make sense of the world. We hope that stories like this promote dialogue and openness with the young people you care about.

The country has been talking non stop about sexual assault and harassment. And it turns out that this is a conversation young people are having and urging others to join them. 

Sophia Horner
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Last month a judge in Cincinnati ruled that a transgender boy has the right to leave his parents and pursue hormone replacement therapy. He now lives with his grandparents. Most transgender people come up against state and local laws as they grow up in the country and Ohio. Here is a Dayton Youth Radio story from Sophia Horner.

I'm 17. I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. I go to Stivers School for the Arts, and I'm in creative writing and theater and I love it. It's one of the greatest places I've ever been.

Zoe Williams
Basim Blunt / WYSO

So many of us have records on shelves or in the basement. And chances are the record player is long gone. But, Zoe Williams, of Dayton Youth Radio is here to tell us that teenagers are glad we didn’t throw the vinyl away.

I'm Zoe. I'm a senior at Stivers School for the Arts, and I'm also slightly obsessed with JD Salinger.

Hezikiah Reed
Basim Blunt / WYSO

A lot of us have been tuned into the Olympics this week, but it's good to remember that some young people have their own private races. 

My name is Hezikiah, which means God's strength.  All my life I felt I was different.  My teachers and adults in my life would say I had a nice smile, but one thing that really set me apart was my voice; some people would think that I was a girl just from the way that I talked. 

Dom Ramsey
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Fathers and sons exchange a lot by being together. Put a microphone in the hands of the son and he will have many questions. This month we offer two conversations from Dayton Youth Radio. Last week we heard from John Hahn, a teen and his father - a white family.  They spoke about race and politics and this week, Centerville High School student Dom Ramsey and his father, who are African American, travel that same landscape. 

John Hahn
Basim Blunt / WYSO

Today on Dayton Youth Radio we have a story about listening carefully when fathers and sons talk; sharing family history, ideas and politics. Today, we will share one conversation where son and father trade ideas. They are white, and next week, we'll hear from an African American father and son.

Sarah Weymouth
Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio, we have a story from Centerville High School student Sarah Weymouth about parents communicating with their teenagers.

You know your kids better than anyone else right? Inside and out, right? I’m sure that’s how my dad felt, up until last week when i gave him a reality check. My parents got divorced when I was 7 years old. Before then, we all lived together happily in our little ranch style home in suburban Centerville, Ohio.

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