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caption: A collage of images from the stories in this showcase.
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A collage of images from the stories in this showcase.
Credit: Photo illustration by Kelsey Kupferer

15 stories by Seattle-area teens

Young people have balanced the grief, joy, and uncertainty of 2021 with the ups and downs of just being a teenager.

Hosts Alayna Ly and Colin Yuen premiere 15 stories produced by young people during the coronavirus pandemic. Charlotte Engrav was this show's producer.

RadioActive Showcase: An hour of youth radio

In this special RadioActive showcase, hosts Alayna Ly and Colin Yuen premiere 15 stories produced by young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

caption: Alayna Ly (left), Charlotte Engrav, and Colin Yuen pose in a KUOW studio on November 6, 2021.
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Alayna Ly (left), Charlotte Engrav, and Colin Yuen pose in a KUOW studio on November 6, 2021.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Kelsey Kupferer

'Seeing them do it, you know you can.' A Seattle teen reflects on representation, music, and disability

Mia Crump is a Seattle teen determined to claim her space in the music industry, despite not seeing herself represented there. Mia talked with her friend, RadioActive’s Lily Turner.

How my brother's mental toughness through a COVID deployment helped bring us closer

Petty officer Serigne Diakhate spent nearly a year at sea on an extended deployment — the U.S. Navy wanted to prevent outbreaks of Covid-19 on ships. Serigne’s brother, RadioActive’s Khassim Diakhate, has his story.

How one educator made space for youth of color during the pandemic

Fernell Miller is a teacher and the founder of The Root of Our Youth, a program devoted to racial equity, especially in education. RadioActive’s Zana Stewart is part of the program, and has more.

A guitar and a dream: My father's teenage immigration story

Hugo Guerra had a tough home life growing up in Guatemala. He used his guitar to cope. When he immigrated to America, his guitar became a tool for survival. RadioActive's Adrian Guerra has this story about his dad.

Two teens, separated by a generation: What 'working hard' means to me and my mom

Michell Nguyen has high standards for her eldest daughter, RadioActive’s Jennifer Nguyen. Jennifer talked with her mom to understand where these standards came from.

From Hong Kong to Seattle, my grandparents' barbershop love story

RadioActive’s Colin Yuen talked to his grandma, Yuk Yuen, about her immigration story, her love story, and what he has to learn from her.

This Muslim teen didn’t have a place where she could express her needs, so she made one herself

Sadeen Al Ziyad is a junior at Nathan Hale High School. She’s committed to making her school a more inclusive place for muslim students. RadioActive's Najuma Abadir has this story about her friend.

Why folklórico matters to me and my best friend

Folklórico is a style of dance from Mexico. And for Kylie Hooks, it’s a way to connect with her family and culture. RadioActive’s Josie Gonzalez is also a folklórico dancer, and she brings us this story.

How my grandfather the fish ecologist affected the nation— and me

Hal Beecher loves nature. But his love was pushed to its limit in a court case that affected the nation. His grandchild, RadioActive’s Rhea Beecher, has more.

POEM: My hijab is my empowerment, my strength and my honor

RadioActive’s Rahmah Abdulazeez interviewed her sister, Zahraa Abdulazeez, about the Islamophobia they experience as young hijabis. Rahmah wove that interview into a poem.

Confident in herself, and her curls: My best friend's hair journey

Nike Adejumobi’s hair and self-esteem were damaged. She talked to RadioActive’s Alayna Ly about reviving her natural hair, and her confidence.

'You never eat alone.' Lessons from my Nigerien great-grandmother

RadioActive’s Leila M’baye comes from a long line of women entrepreneurs. Leila sat down with her mom to remember her great-grandma, the woman who started it all.

Hard work pays off. For my sister, hard work took her to college

Jakha Tunkara is the first in her family to go to college. But she says her high school could have done more to help her prepare. RadioActive’s Muhammad Tunkara has this story about his sister.

Don't take my silence as weakness.' My experience in the foster care system

There are more than 400,000 children currently in foster care in the United States. RadioActive’s Kemijah Slaughter was one of those children.

Breaking the culture of silence: How my eating disorder strengthened my relationship with my Mexican mother

RadioActive’s Eva Solorio says her family communicates love through food. So when Eva faced an eating disorder in middle school, getting help was especially hard. Eva talked to her mom about that time, and how it brought them closer together.

Just a heads up, this four-minute story frankly discusses eating disorders.


RadioActive Youth Media is KUOW's radio journalism and audio storytelling program for young people. This hour of radio was entirely youth-produced, from the interviewing and writing to the audio editing. And, because of the pandemic, every story you hear in this showcase was produced remotely, with each youth producer recording from home.

The stories in this showcase were created in a RadioActive online audio storytelling workshop for 15- to 18-year-olds. The showcase was produced by Charlotte Engrav, and edited by Kelsey Kupferer.

Find RadioActive on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, and on the RadioActive podcast.

Support for KUOW's RadioActive and this showcase comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center.

If you have any feedback about the stories in this showcase, you can email RadioActive at Or you can click the teal feedback tab on the edge of this page. Reach out. We're listening.