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Kids find their voice on Internet radio

Some local teens are getting the chance to let their voices be heard.
The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) has launched an online radio station with an all teen cast and crew. GRYC Radio went live in November, giving the kids an outlet for their voice.
“One of the things I noticed was that kids rarely got a chance to talk about what was important to them,” said Walter Welsh, director of program operations at GRYC.
The show, which is aired every other Wednesday on www.blogtalkradio.com/grycradio, discusses current events, pop culture and trends, along with segments for sports, advice, and an artist spotlight during which local performers are interviewed. They hope to begin weekly shows shortly and possibly add more in the future.
The high school and college students running the station are excited about the opportunities presented by the show.
“It’s a chance for me to get my voice heard,” said Chassidy, the host and a freshman at Borough of Manhattan Community College, who “jumped at the opportunity” when her friend told her about it. “People tell me I have a good radio voice. I think it’s something that I’m made for.”
“It’s a good experience,” added Yuriy, a freshman at New York City College of Technology who is also considering a career in the field. “I’m glad for the opportunity.”
The show is aired directly from the GRYC, the largest youth service in western Queens. “We have studio A and studio B,” said Aldona Watts, an engineer at WNYU, New York University’s radio station, and station manager at GRYC Radio, referring to the offices they broadcast from. They have contacted local radio stations looking to upgrade some of their equipment.
Watts started holding meetings in October for teens interested in joining, helping them with interviews, writing for radio and other tasks. The teens meet Mondays and Thursdays to discuss and plan the upcoming shows.
“We have brainstorming sessions and the kids come up with the ideas and the material is all them,” she said.
There are about 10 kids working at the station right now, but they are always looking for more.
“The more kids we can get, the more we can do,” said Welsh, who hopes the radio station can become the “voice of young people in New York City.” He said the passion the kids bring to the table gives him confidence they can achieve this.
“We have a great group of kids,” he said. “We want to make it bigger and better.”

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