Youth Radio’s mission is to revolutionize how youth tell stories and the ways people connect with next-generation journalists and artists. We deliver honest, vital, top-quality news and culture you won’t find anywhere else.

We start in 1993, in the San Francisco Bay Area, during a wave of youth violence and unemployment which left many teens without hope and without a voice in the discussions that were shaping their future. 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.


From the beginning, Youth Radio’s mission was to revolutionize the way youth tell stories and to connect media professionals with talented young journalists and artists. This was an effort led by our youth themselves, right from the start. Every day, professional producers and instructors work hand-in-hand with youth reporters and peer teachers to create award-winning media and train the next generation.


In 2007 we moved our headquarters to downtown Oakland. Making an investment in the city’s future has paid off as the city has grown into a nationally recognized hub of art, commerce, and culture. From our headquarters, we have correspondents and partners in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, DC., and 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.


Making great media starts with great media education. Youth Radio provides six months of digital media and technology education to diverse, low-income 14-24-year-old young people throughout the Bay Area in journalism, music production, design, and code.


Which leads to opportunities. Our program graduates are eligible for jobs throughout Youth Radio’s Peabody Award-winning media production company and with a host of employer partners in the region.


We also know that life is more than school and work. Our participants receive wraparound services including 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.

Others notice the work we do, too.

  • 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


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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