Joanne Casale Viskup, Media Arts instructor with Ponitz Career Technology Center said that Dayton Youth Radio has been offered to students since its beginning and is traditionally a senior project in their Media Arts Pathway.
“Everyone has a story to tell. I want this program to give my students the confidence to tell theirs. I want them to experience taking a project like this from its conception, to the writing process, all the way through to a finished product. It’s also a beautiful thing to see the bonds that are formed between students and between students and instructors.”
Dayton Youth Radio students and instructor Basim Blunt celebrate the final day of the 2019 Summer class at Young's Dairy in Yellow Springs. CONTRIBUTED
Joselyne Kamikazi, a senior at David H. Ponitz Career Training Center, said that the story she chose to tell brought her closer to her family. She said that she came to this country at age 5 and over time lost the memories of her life in her home country and decided to use this opportunity to reconnect with her roots.
“My mom is a powerful, no-nonsense person who doesn’t do small talk and just likes to get things done. So, we’ve never spoken candidly about Africa or traditions or anything. It was cool to actually talk to her and learn about her experience as a woman in a culture that puts men first.
“Also, interviewing my dad, he used to be in local politics in Burundi. So as soon as he saw that I was recording, it was all politician mode. It was funny.”
Centerville High School senior Ella Dapore said that she had always wanted to be on the radio and was excited by the opportunity to participate in Dayton Youth Radio.
“I just thought it would be cool to get my voice out there and touch random strangers, yet go out in public and no one would know it’s you,” said Dapore. She said that she chose to tell the story about her grandfather’s passing and a dream she had about him that she felt gave her the second chance to say goodbye and I love you.
“My writing this story - believe it or not - changed my relationship with my parents. It gave them a chance to hear my heart; a side of me I tend to keep private. And who knows, my words could’ve helped some people heal, people I don’t even know.”
Tricia Rapoch, Communication Arts teacher at Centerville High School, said even though her students get a lot of experience working at the school’s student-run radio station, she thinks the experience with Dayton Youth Radio is a valuable one.
“They learn that what we do in the classroom, mirrors what is done in the professional world.”
For more information on Dayton Youth Radio or to listen to the student-produced stories, visit www.wyso.org/podcast/dayton-youth-radio or www.wyso.org/shows/community-voices.