Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of the world-changing storytellers that will be speaking at Story Movements, our new catalytic two-day convening September 15-16, 2016 that examines platforms and genres of civic media storytelling through the lens of social justice. From documentary film to investigative journalism to virtual reality to participatory storytelling to persuasive gaming to photography, the convening examines and captures the current and future-looking moment in story-led demands for social change.

Today, meet Teresa Chin, producer and designer at Youth Radio.

Teresa Chin headshotProject Synopsis: Youth Radio is an award-winning media production company that trains diverse young people in digital media and technology.  Partnering with industry professionals, students learn to produce marketable media for massive audiences while bringing youth perspectives to issues of public concern. Youth Radio’s mission is to launch young people on career and education pathways by engaging them in work-based learning opportunities, creative expression, professional development, and health and academic support services.

Founded in 1993 in Berkeley during a period of heightened youth violence and homicide, Youth Radio was established as an outlet for Bay Area youth to process their experiences and provide an alternative perspective to the prevailing media dialogue. In 2007, Youth Radio moved its headquarters to downtown Oakland, helping transform an under-invested part of the city into a world-class center of art, commerce, and culture. 

CMSI: What was your path to becoming a producer and designer at Youth Radio?

Teresa Chin: Before I became a producer at Youth Radio, I had spent time working as (among other things) a high school math/science teacher, an adolescent health specialist, a self-taught graphic designer, and a radio/print reporter. I had a passion for working with young people, translating technical concepts into simple explanations, and crafting beautiful, engaging multi-platform media products. So when I saw Youth Radio was hiring for a science producer, it was a perfect opportunity to work across those core areas. Now I’ve been at Youth Radio five years. In that time, I’ve worked with our newsroom, app lab, and education departments. Not only do I get to produce stories with teen reporters for broadcast, I also lead our design efforts for web and mobile, and lead media boot camps with teens all over the country based on our training model. It’s a fun job!

CMSI: What inspires you about the participatory storytelling model?

Teresa Chin: We tackle some heavy topics at Youth Radio, like child sex trafficking, PTSD, gun violence, gentrification, etc – all of which get reported on all the time, but not from the viewpoint of people living in the communities that are being affected. By creating interactive, open-ended narratives, we are sending the message young people are not passive bystanders on these issues, but active participants with expertise who can work towards creating the changes they’d like to see in their communities.

CMSI: What kind of feedback do you get from youth who participate in Youth Radio programs?

Teresa Chin: They’re proud of the work they do because it is both top-quality and authentic to their experiences. They feel a greater sense of connection to their communities.

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To learn more about Youth Radio, click here.

To see the complete Story Movements line-up, click here.

To register for Story Movements, click here.