"The Fresh Air Institute - A Young Voices Collaboration" is a partnership between KFAI, Youth CARE and Urban 4-H.
The summer-long program is focused on creating shows for International Youth Day, an observance established by the United Nations to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society. Accordingly, the 2014 Fresh Air Institute presented four hours of youth-guided and hosted programming on KFAI.
Youth CARE serves a diverse population arranged along the following ratios – 34% African American, 21% Asian American, 15% Native American, 12% European American, 4% Chicano / Latino and 3% African. Youth CARE seeks to give young people opportunities to develop 21st Century Skills, challenge themselves and their peers to be effective leaders, and build a sense of pride in who they are.
Urban 4-H is part of the Center for Youth Development and University of Minnesota Extension. They want to build sustainable programs that meet the unique needs of urban youth.
In the Fresh Air Institute, both these partner organizations found common purpose with KFAI. We welcomed participants to our studios and immediately put them in front of microphones so they could record and listen to their own voices. The youth adopted DJ names and split up into three and four person teams to produce programs that combine music and conversation for a diverse audience. The teams met regularly through the summer at KFAI to develop their shows. Participants from Youth CARE’s Community Service Stars program had eight meetings at the studio. Youth CARE participants from a Youth LEAD program at McDonough Homes in St. Paul visited five times, as did Urban 4-H’s “Kid Power” group.
On International Youth Day, participants appeared on the KFAI show "Conversatios with Al McFarlane" prior to the broadcast of their programs.