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The 2020 cohort of the Youth Reporting Institute and their work.

Uncertainty And Discouragement Shape The Experience of First-Time Voters

A young woman wearing a gray sweatshirt takes a photo of herself holding an 'I Voted' sticker.
Allie Folger, courtesy of Kamaya Truitt

Youth reporter Ellie Stevens hears a lot about what adults want out of the election. But the high school senior felt that she didn’t know what her peers wanted from the candidates running this year. 

In an episode of her podcast “Lunch Break,” Stevens set out to explore that topic by interviewing three young people about how the first presidential debate influenced their voting decisions. The discussion brought up feelings of uncertainty and disappointment in the chaotic nature of both candidates fighting to be heard. Host Frank Stasio talks with Stevens about her podcast and what she learned about young people’s views in the aftermath of the debate.

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Ellie Stevens is from Apex, North Carolina, and has worked for WUNC since 2020. She started at WUNC as a Youth Reporter, and she now works as a Youth Radio Mentor within the Youth Reporting Institute.
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