Youth Aloud Season 4: Behind the Scenes

Hello everyone. I’m Diana Medina, Program Director at The Practice Space. This post discusses the making of Season 4 of the Youth Aloud Podcast that was released on September 18, 2021.

Season 4 of Youth Aloud was the second season of our podcast that was created and released during the pandemic. For me as Program Director, Season 4 was the first podcast season I got to see come to fruition while working with the many incredible youth that make our programs special. Podcasts foster strong public speaking skills because of the effort that is required to record them and the learning opportunities that arise in creating them. This is the sort of medium that lets young people be thoughtful, record multiple takes, capture blooper magic, get to know peers, and ultimately decide the sort of voice they want to use by being able to play it back to hear themselves. 

In this most recent season of Youth Aloud, we wanted to showcase how podcasting is a powerful tool for young people to tell their stories, share their wisdom, and create their own positive public speaking memories. The students featured in these episodes ranged from ages 8 to 14 years old and participated in our Storytelling and Podcasting Club during spring of 2021 and our most recent summer 2021 camps for Young Speakers and Middle Schoolers. They were mentored and supported by TPS staff and youth coaches as they learned the fundamentals of finding and using their voice. Together in groups with their peers these young people learned about debate, storytelling, tone, presentation, research, and scripting in an environment that was equal parts joyful and rigorous. Utilizing inspiring prompts and themes they shared memorable stories from their lives, distilled those memories into lessons, and created new stories about what is possible. Youth Aloud Season 4 showcases the way young people tap into the power of childhood memories to engage in imaginative storytelling and contemplate new adventures while sharing their insights and advice with the world.

Check out the three episodes of Youth Aloud Season 4 below: 

Episode 1: Exploring Childhood Memories 

What comes to mind when you think of childhood memories and the stories we tell about them? In this episode, we explore the theme of childhood memories and what we can learn from sharing our stories. You’ll hear from the participants in our Storytelling and Podcasting club as they share their perspectives and reflections on art, siblings, scars, and storytelling. Stories shared include: why drawing is a fun hobby, what we can learn from sibling dynamics, and a memorable first trip to the emergency room.  

S4E1: Exploring Childhood Memories

Episode 2: First Time Storytellers 

Do you remember the first time you ever expressed yourself through public speaking or told a story about your life? In this episode, you will hear participants in our Young Speakers Camp do just that. For many of them, participating in this program was the first opportunity they get to practice the skills of communication and storytelling in a safe space that builds their confidence. Stories shared include: first steps taken, trying new things, being helpful, biggest fears, and learning from mistakes.

S4E2: First Time Storytellers

Episode 3: Exploring New Adventures  

What does it mean to embark on new adventures? In this episode, participants from our Middle School Speech camp creatively explore the many angles of this question within their very own podcast production teams! Stories shared include: post covid travel plans, fun facts about new places, interesting travel stories with tips, how digital art and video games can be their own adventures, discussing differences between journeys and quests, imaginative adventure stories, and even a few fictional commercials.  

S4E3: Exploring New Adventures

In addition to the wonderful student program participants whose work and speeches were featured in these episodes, this season would not have been possible without the support of our podcast co-founders Mela Seyoum and Lindsey Lam. Mela contributes her kind joyful voice to host each episode in a way that gently guides you on a journey from speaker to speaker. Lindsey harnesses her interp background and ear for good stories to do all the sound engineering (which is no easy feat as our students had many wonderful things to say!). After working on the podcast for the last four years, Lindsey will be helping to mentor another youth leader to pass the torch to in the coming year. We can’t thank her enough for all of her contributions to growing this podcast into what is is today. And we really can’t wait to see what happens next season and what new stories our youth will have to tell!

We hope you enjoy listening to this season as much as we enjoyed creating it!

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