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WYSO is committed to putting local voices on the air. We give local voices the time and space to tell their own stories, in their own words, without commercial interruptions. Our Community Voices training program for adults has been doing this since 2011. In 2014 we expanded that program to include high school students. They are the future of Dayton – and they have a lot to say. Dayton Youth Radio project manager Basim Blunt teaches broadcasting and storytelling skills to high school students. Basim works with about 45 teenagers each year from various schools in the Miami Valley, guiding each students' story from the classroom to the WYSO airwaves. We plan to keep diversifying the types of schools we work with. In 2016-17 we continued to serve Dayton’s urban core by working with Ponitz Career Technology Center and Stivers School for the Arts, but also worked with the suburbs (Centerville High School), a rural district (Tecumseh High School) and a private school (Miami Valley School). Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Vectren Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council 00000170-7aa5-de86-a9fd-fead42740000

Paradise Lost: A Teenager Searches For Answers About His Family

Dalton Moore
Basim Blunt
Dalton Moore

This week Dayton Youth Radio begins a new season of stories from Miami Valley teenagers.  Today we'll meet Dalton Moore, a senior at Centerville High School, who is struggling to find an answer about his past.

I was four years old; my life was simple and happy life. It was me, my mom and Tommy, my dad. Or at least the man I thought was my dad. I enjoyed living life with my sisters. My family and I did everything together. We were always at the park, riding our bikes all over Dayton. It was like we ran our neighborhood, even though we were all young.

We were all spoiled little brats. We got everything we asked for and more. I remembered our favorite candy was Now & Later. After school we would walk to this store called Everyday on the corner - now that's pretty ironic because we literally went there everyday.

My mom divorced Tommy when I was four.  When Tommy moved out, my life changed dramatically - no more happy family. What people don't know and well, what I didn't know was that the man my mom was married to wasn't my dad. I  was still confused. I became even more confused when my mom introduced me to my biological dad. I can't really remember where I met my dad, I can only remember that it happened.

My biological dad is Anthony Moore.  My first clear memory of him is this big man wearing a white thermal shirt, blue jeans and black leather steel toed boots; I remember him driving a brown pickup truck. My dad said my mom never told him that I was born. She has told me this multiple times throughout my life. My mom said my dad just denied the fact that I was his or that she was even pregnant.

From then, till I was nine years old, I saw my dad every Tuesday & Thursday. When I was nine, he was given full custody of me, and I’ve lived with him ever since.

Living with my dad is different than being with my mom. The hardest part of my mom and dad not being together was when it came to school. I grew up in Dayton and part of the custody arrangement meant I had to switch Centerville schools.  It was different.  Everyone in class seemed to know what they were doing. They were doing multiplication and division, but I was still learning addition and subtraction. I was lost.

I don't really know why he got custody; he would never tell me. He would always say, "I'll tell you when you’re older." I'm 17 now, dad, I think I'm old enough. I see my mom every Wednesday and every other weekend.  But I miss my family.

My mom has since remarried and had another child. Brennan was born after I started living with my dad. I’ll never know Brennan as well as I’d like as I am just a visitor in his life. Two of my sisters are in college. I think about what it could have been like, to grow up together as one family in the same household.

I miss the day to day comings and goings of family life. I rarely see my brothers and sisters and that has really taken a toll on me. It hurts

My story is about what it was like for me not knowing who my dad was and then when I found out who he is, being taken away from my mom and family. Why was I separated from the only family I knew that I had at the time to a person I never met, never knew, never knew anyone in his family, knew nothing about him?

I didn't know why, I still don't know why I had to be separated. I was never really asked which one I prefer. Why did I have to be taken away from my brother and sisters?

Mom and Dad, please tell me why.

Dalton Moore is a student at Centerville High School. Special Thanks to Tricia Rapoch, teacher for the Communication Arts Program at Centerville High School. Learn more at the school's website:  http://www.centerville.k12.oh.us/CHS
Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

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