by Michele Carlo

On March 9, five NYC teens wrapped up six weeks of after-school training in radio broadcasting as part of RFB’s Teen Squad program. In this first session, which ran from January 29 through March 9, 2019, the students participated in workshops on studio building, interviewing and broadcasting techniques, field recording, news gathering, show preparation, and DJing—as well as participating in discussions on media ethics and responsibility, copyright, and careers in media. RFB Teen Squad was also featured on March 16 as the subject of a half-hour special on Fox 5 NY’s Good Day Street Talk. See the show here

Led by Radio Free Brooklyn’s Executive Director, Tom Tenney and co-instructor Kirsten Nicolaisen, the program also included guest instructors from NPR, Heritage Radio Network and Universal Music. The winter session culminated on the last day with live radio broadcasts of shows created during the session. Two of the five teens will begin regular weekly broadcasts of their shows beginning April 8, live from Radio Free Brooklyn’s learning studio in Bushwick: Politics in Reality, hosted by Daniel Burgin (Mondays at 6, starting 4/8) and Rx Radio, hosted by Damari Edwards (Saturdays at 3, starting 4/13). We invite everyone to tune in!

Asked about the Teen Squad program, Tenney said, “These kids were an absolute joy to work with. They were curious, engaged, and enthusiastic about the hands-on experience. A couple of them even asked if they could join the second session.”

Even parents were excited about RFB’s mission to provide this media education. Upon being interviewed by his son Daniel on his very first show, Dr. Dillon Burgin commented, “I want to add my words of appreciation for Radio Free Brooklyn in giving my son the opportunity to receive training in this area. It’s great work, and a great project they have taken on to train youngsters. I really hope they continue to do that. And folks, I hope you can find ways to support the work that this nonprofit establishment is doing to help improve the community.”

The RFB Teen Squad program will run throughout 2019 and is free for students ages 13-18 who attend a NYC middle or high school. The next session launches April 29 with 5-10 new students. Teens can apply until April 15 at: http://radiofreebrooklyn.com/teensquad.

To donate to this program, visit: http://radiofreebrooklyn.com/afterschool

RFB Teen Squad After-School Program is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).