Youth Radio is a Peabody Award-winning nonprofit media production company and learning institution that prepares diverse young people for the 21st-century digital workplace by offering them hands-on education and employment in journalism, arts, and technology, as well as access to support services like academic advising and mental health care. Partnering with news and music industry professionals and outlets including NPR, The New York Times, and Teen Vogue, students learn to produce content shared with millions, elevating youth perspectives on the most important issues we face.

Our story begins in 1993, in the San Francisco Bay Area, during a wave of youth violence and unemployment. That year Youth Radio opened its doors in Berkeley, CA, creating a direct line for Bay Area teens to share their stories with audiences on both public and commercial airways.

In 2007 we moved our headquarters to downtown Oakland, creating a hub from which we could both instruct and serve the region’s youth. From our headquarters, we work with youth organizations around the country to produce content for our national media partners—including The New York Times, NPR, and Teen Vogue.

The wraparound services our local participants receive include case management, referrals to partner service providers, nutritional support and academic/career advising to sponsor the realization of their personal goals.

We measure our success in the impact we have on the lives of our participants.

  • Our youth-produced journalism reaches an audience of 30 million people.
  • Last year, Youth Radio students had a 97% high school graduation rate and an 90% college enrollment rate.
  • Youth Radio provides more than 250 paid internships per year to young people and our externship program provides direct employment in the communications sector.
  • Our services are provided at no cost to participating youth.

Our work has been recognized by others.

  • George Foster Peabody Award – 2001, 2011
  • Edward R. Murrow Award – 2001, 2005, 2010, 2011
  • Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award–2010
  • President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Award – 2012
  • Red Cross Heroes Award – 2010
  • duPont-Columbia University Award – 2000

Through our proven model, young people are transformed into career-ready young adults. In the process, their storytelling profoundly transforms the thinking of millions of people who engage with and are inspired by a youth perspective for the first time.

We strive for a society in which young people across the country are driving conversations that lead to new solutions for long-standing social problems and obstacles to a healthy national future.

Whether you are an aspiring writer or artist, or someone who believes that every youth deserves the opportunity to have their voice heard, we want you to become part the Youth Radio story.


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