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Unpack Your Adjectives: A local teenager deals with anxiety about WYSO’s youth radio program

Ethan Turner
Basim Blunt
Ethan Turner

Hello, my name's Ethan. I was born in Ohio. I go to Kettering Fairmont High School. I've always felt kind of weird and different from everyone.

Everyone's weird, everyone's different from everyone, so it's kind of stupid to be like, “Oh, I'm so special. I'm so different!”

I like music a lot, video games and art. I don't really like my grandfather much. He decided to come live with us and stole my room. Now, I live in the basement like Harry Potter. When I first found out about Dayton Youth Radio, I thought it was a company making money off of kids, and I really wanted to move on to a film project at school or literally anything else.

And for a bit, I thought that's what was going to happen.

I didn't really like the idea of teenagers oversharing their personal lives on the radio. I really thought the youth radio was sketchy, kind of weird and just sucked.

It's this cool guy that's young, like not young, but he acts young and can relate to us kids like, “How are you doing, fellow kids?” just sucked.

Something felt off to me, and I didn't really want to be involved anymore. I think things are weird now. With activities being documented online, you can get in trouble for things now that you could have never gotten into trouble with before because now, it's on your phone.

A few weeks later, Basim played a story from another youth radio station in New York. The story tackled an abusive relationship and had something to do with the police. I totally hated it.

And like I said, I thought it was oversharing.

After listening to the story, I almost felt angry. I then caused a scene. Basim wanted Josh and I on a Zoom call. I rolled my eyes but got on anyway. It was worth it because that day I learned a lot about WYSO. Basim wasn't talking all professional and he wasn't acting all uppity and he was opening up to us and that made me feel more comfortable. I learned WYSO was a nonprofit and that they don't even have that much money. I did feel more comfortable, that's for sure, but I still had my doubts, I'm stubborn. After all, I felt like my privacy was being breached in a way by having to get on the radio. But I forgot about it and went to bed.

I wish teens would make stories about mental health and all that jazz. I don't think it should be filled with trash about legal family business. If someone wants to do that, I think that makes them really strong. But it's not the kind of thing I'd want to do. I felt better about youth radio after all of that because it gives kids a voice and people usually want to shut us kids up. So all I'm trying to say is, at first it looks weird and it seemed really dodgy, and I'd kind of just wanted to avoid it at all. But after looking back, I just don't really think it's that bad. I used to think it really sucked, but I feel a lot better about it now, and I'm glad I was able to do it. I think youth radio has its place because I think teens do need to stick up for themselves.

I think my story is, like I said, “I feel some kind of relief after telling the story. I feel less angry and anxious about the whole thing, and I'm glad I came to the radio station. It was a good time. It was really cool here, and I'm just glad it all worked out.”

So, yeah, I would say my story ended.

Ethan Turner is a student at Kettering Fairmont High School. Special thanks to their teacher Laura Hutchens. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.