Dayton Youth Radio

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

Dorian Mays
Basim Blunt / WYSO

I remember going to the Oregon District with my family back in February. I was with my mom and aunts because they were getting matching tattoos. I remember eating spicy and lemon pepper wings at Blind Bob's with my uncle and sister. We were getting hungry while waiting for my mom and aunts to have their tattoos finished. It was February, so it was a bit chilly, partly cloudy, but that didn't stop the smiles and laughter from the people walking around.

Jackson Sawyer
Basim Blunt / WYSO

My name is Jackson Sawyer. I'm 17, and I'm a senior at Centerville High School. Anyone who is a middle child knows that being the middle child is the worst. I'm never taken seriously when I want to be, and I never get the sympathy I want when I need it. I have five siblings, and I live with my parents.

Having five siblings is normal, but my family is even less normal than that as my three youngest siblings are all adopted.

Jalen Brown
Basim Blunt / WYSO

16 year old Jaylen Brown told our Dayton Youth Radio class at Dayton Early College Academy about some of the things he loves: his family, gangsta rap from the 90s and lots of sweets, cookies, candy bars, soda, donuts.  But then he realized that good things don't last forever. 

I used to eat candy, sweets and meat for days. My diet was terrible. I didn't listen to my mother who did try to tell me right, but she had to work so she couldn't enforce it as much. My teeth were bad back then.

Brittney Murphy
Basim Blunt / WYSO

What do Katy Perry, Denzel Washington and George Stephanopoulos have in common with Dayton Youth Radio producer Brittney Murphy? They're all PKs or preacher's kids. 17 year old Brittney shares her memories of her father.

Me being able to accept Christ as my holy savior is thanks to Reverend George Dean Murphy Junior, my pastor and my father.

Imagine instruments playing, children and adults singing, and a pastor that keeps you in the presence of the Lord.

Nina Edwards
Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio we'll meet a senior from the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center. Teenager Nina Edwards says the history lessons taught in public school doesn't reflect her culture.

Hello, my name is Nina Edwards, and I'm a Black girl in a white man's world. I attend Ponitz CTC, where the racial makeup is more than half Black kids.

Morgan Risch
Basim Blunt / WYSO

I'm Morgan Risch. I'm currently 17 and a senior at Centerville High School. I'm going to tell you about my junior prom experience. 

I had waited for years, and last year I was finally a junior and was going to  be able to go to prom. I had been looking forward to prom since I knew what prom was. The idea of getting dressed up and looking and feeling like a princess was a dream come true to me.

Devin Gum
Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio we feature 18 year old Devin Gum, a high school senior from Centerville, who will be voting for the first time in next year's presidential election. Devin spoke to his father Kevin about the upcoming election.

I asked my dad if he thought that Trump made America great again.

"I think America's stronger now," he said. "He's made  great strides in our deals we have with Asia, Mexico and Canada."

"How do you rate Trump's overall performance?" I asked.

Lizzy Sparks
Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio, we have the first story from a new class of producers from Centerville High School.  Senior Lizzy Sparks tells us about an extraordinary meeting with someone very special over pizza.

My name is Lizzie Sparks. I'm an aspiring author. I write stories; I like to create things. I’m a Gemini, and my father was a sperm donor.

My story is about finding my family and finding the truth out about who I am and where I came from and meeting my brother for the first time in person.

Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio we have a story from The David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center about a teenager dealing with life after a tragedy occurs. A note to listeners, this story does discuss suicide. 

My name is Deja', I'm 17 years. I'm the oldest of five kids: Ethan, Viviana. Juan Diego and Tony. I also have two dogs who are both rescues, a big dog named Roger and a smaller dog named Lily.

Take It Easy: A Teenager Talks About Love

Oct 10, 2019
A' Lise Melvin
Basim Blunt / WYSO

This week on Dayton Youth Radio, we meet A'lise Melvin, who will give us a glimpse of teen love during senior year, when emotions run high and the future is coming fast.

When I got to high school freshman year, I met this boy in my science class. He was funny. He knew how to get my attention even though he was short as heck; he was so short, his feet didn't even touch the ground while he was sitting in a chair. He was still fun to be around.