About Our 2019 Youth Reporters
Youth Radio reporters at the annual Summer Youth Reporting Institute pitch, report, write and produce radio news stories on assignment for broadcast on North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC.
Victor Amaya is a rising junior at Riverside High School. Victor comes to us with a strong work ethic. He’s worked part time at a carpet company and doing janitorial work. This summer, he’s exploring why some young immigrants start high school in the U.S. but drop out before finishing. He’s talking to his peers and family members to learn about their perspectives on and experiences in the U.S. school system.
Kayla Beckett is a recent graduate of the Early College High School in Durham. She has plans to head off to NC A&T (Go Aggies!) in the fall. Kayla is also a performance poet and has represented Durham at the Brave New World International Poetry Slam Competition. This summer, Kayla is producing a story about how she has navigated the many spaces in her life seeking love, tolerance and acceptance for being herself.
Rose DeConto is a recent graduate of the Durham School for the Arts. This is her second summer working for us as a youth reporter. Last year, she reported on a friend and mentor who makes music in the LGBT community. This summer, Rose is working on a story about 85 split, a group of teenage bands who’ve formed a collective to release CDs, organize house concerts and promote local music.
Jeremiah Henderson is a recent graduate of the Durham School of the Arts where he focused on creative writing and chorus. He’s a singer, poet, rapper and beatmaker. As a member of the youth makerspace Blackspace, he’s written and recorded original music. He was a guest on The State of Things at the time of his band The Blackspace Afronauts’s first record release. You may have also seen him behind the counter at Which Wich sandwich shop. Jeremiah’s story is about local teen rapper named Ismael Luna-Cornejo and how he uses music as a release of emotions.
Da’Mon James is a rising senior at the Early College High School. He is interested in the law and is the co-founder of the Students Demand Action Club, a club that advocates against gun violence in schools and also gives a platform for people to express their personal problems with gun violence. He’s also active with the group Kid’s Voting and got to meet the mayor and members of the City Council. Da’Mon and his family are getting ready to move into a new apartment at the end of the summer. His story is on how his family can make any place that they move into a home and why they have moved five times.
Emma Pollard is a rising 12th grader at Northwood High School. When she came in for an interview, she had us at hello. Her story is about how she’s worked to overcome what she describes as serious anxiety that she traces back to the school shooting in Newtown, CT. She grew up there and was a student at a neighboring school at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting. She says she feels empowered talking about her experience.
Amanda Tsuetaki is a rising junior at Carrboro High School. When she came in for her interview, she shared the fact that her grandmother has lived with her family all her life. With three generations in the home, family stories are shared daily. For her story, she interviewed her grandmother about her experiences being held in one of the internment camps where the United States forced thousands of Japanese-Americans to live during WWII.