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As a teen, they found belonging at this LGBTQ+ youth center. Now, they're paying it forward

caption: People gather for a group photo on the steps of the Lambert House in Seattle, Washington.
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People gather for a group photo on the steps of the Lambert House in Seattle, Washington.
Courtesy of Brandon Knox

For 20 years, RadioActive Youth Media gave young people in the Puget Sound region the skills and resources to do public radio journalism.

Earlier this week, KUOW President and General Manager Caryn Mathes announced the station would be sunsetting the program due to budget shortfalls. Soundside will reflect on what this program meant to the journalists who ran RadioActive — and the youth who were a part of it — in a future segment.

But in the meantime, we want to bring you a final installment of our RadioActive Rewind series.

Over the last two decades, listeners have heard stories from RadioActive journalists. These journalists were teens finding their way in the world, and reflecting on their place in it. Many listeners let us know that they wanted to get an update on what’s happened to the people and reporters behind these pieces.

Today, we’re revisiting a story produced by RadioActive alum Avery Styer back in 2016. Eight years ago, Avery took us to a space in Capitol Hill that had a special spot in their life — Lambert House, a community center for LGBTQ+ youth. It was there that Styer met their best friend, and mentors that accepted them.

RELATED: Queer youth, you'll belong at this old Seattle house

Since that original story, Avery has aged out of the youth programs Lambert House currently offers, but that doesn’t mean they’ve moved on.

Avery now volunteers weekly at Lambert House, and they let Soundside producer Noel Gasca tag along for one of their volunteer shifts.

Listen to the full RadioActive Rewind by clicking the play button at the top of the page.

You can listen to Avery’s original story about Lambert House, and hundreds of other stories produced by RadioActive at their website at

Special thanks to RadioActive Program Manager Lila Lakehart, program producers Kelsey Tolchin-Kupferer and Troy Landrum Jr. for their collaboration with the RadioActive Rewind Series — and for being incredible colleagues. Soundside would also like to thank the hundreds of RadioActive participants who shared their stories with listeners over the past 20 years.

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