Young Reporters

Yariset Rodriguez graduation celebration

High school graduation a family triumph

by Yariset Rodriguez

More than 20 percent of Latino students attending public schools in Minneapolis drop out of high school. That's nearly double the overall dropout rate for the district. In this latest installment of Minnesota Public Radio's Young Reporters Series, Yariset Rodriguez -- a recent high school graduate -- explains how she succeeded.

New drinking laws prompt civic action by college students


College students in central Minnesota are learning a few life lessons on how government works. The subject at hand -- three new ordinances designed to control underage drinking in the city of St. Joseph.

Bullying in schools through the eyes of teens


A Minnesota Public Radio News investigation looked at bullying in the state and what state law and school policies can do to prevent it. To paint an accurate picture of bullying, we wanted to also get the perspective of teens.

A child's view of domestic violence


MPR Youth Radio reporter Valencia McMurray revisits an incident that happened in her family when she was six and has kept a hold on her family 14 years later.

Undocumented teen says equality is everything


A Minneapolis teen who was carried across the U.S.-Mexico border a dozen years ago hopes Congress will pass the federal DREAM Act, so she can live and work legally in the country she considers home.

Japanese-American granddaughter questions internment


As part of our Young Reporters series, Mara Kumagai Fink reports on her experience visiting the camps where her Japanese American family members and over 100,000 others were held during World War II.

Student explains how D2010 helped her


Tiara Bellaphant, who graduated from St. Paul Central High School this week, made it all the way through the Destination 2010 scholarship program. As part of our Young Reporters series, she explains what it was like to be part of the experiment.

Life without Mom


Death makes the news. Grief doesn't. In our Young Reporters Series, Antonio Gonzalez examines how his family is doing seven months after the sudden and mysterious death of his mother.

Young Reporters: 15-year-old meets the president


A Minnesota teen records her experience as a delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program for MPR News' Young Reporters Series.

Young, gay and homeless


An estimated 20 to 40 percent of homeless teens are on the streets because of their sexual orientation. In this report from our Young Reporters Series, Roy Lee Spearman Jones tells the story of being out on his own.

Family finds strength after New Year's skiing accident


For the Fink family, each New Year's Day marks another anniversary of an event that profoundly changed the family's life. Eleven years ago, Susan Fink fell on a ski trail and was paralyzed from the neck down.

Finding a home in language


Somali immigrants face many challenges adjusting to life in America. As part of our Young Reporters Series, Sadiya Mohamed describes her search for home in America.

A new generation of Hmong women pursues college


The number of Hmong women pursuing college is growing in Minnesota. But a college education can be hard won in families that traditionally encourage daughters to marry young and raise families.

Homeless teen shares her story


The Minneapolis Public Schools counted 5,500 homeless children in the district last year. One teen tells the story of her struggle to stay in school and graduate on her own.

Audio diary of a homeless teen


As part of her Young Reporters story, Valencia McMurray kept an audio diary this spring for Minnesota Public Radio. She recorded her thoughts while living at The Bridge, a shelter for homeless youth in south Minneapolis.

TRiO program fuels college dreams


At each level of education, from ninth grade to college graduate, Minnesota is losing students of color. The TRiO program is trying to improve those statistics, one student at a time.

Payday loans can be a cycle of debt


Minnesota lawmakers are considering two bills that would restrict payday lending. Fifteen states have already banned the practice and Congress may cap interest rates as well.

From the South Side to St. Paul


In the 1990s, thousands of low-income families moved to the Twin Cities from places like Chicago to build new lives. The state agonized over whether it was becoming a "welfare magnet." Paris Porter came to St. Paul from the south side of Chicago when he was 6 years old and was part of this migration.
Jasmyn and her mother, Von Howard (left), pose for a photo during a night out on the town that included attending the Tyler Perry play,

Minneapolis teen bucks the trend of teen pregnancy

by Jasmyn Taylor

Preserving customs is important in many families and many parents encourage their children to carry on established traditions. But not all traditions need to be repeated. In this installment of MPR's Young Reporters Series, Jasmyn Taylor tells us how she's bucking the trend in her family -- by not becoming a teenage mother.

Amrita Mohanty smiles for the camera with her beloved violin just before she performs a solo recital at Central Park in Woodbury in December 2012.

An American Family

by Amrita Mohanty

Families that move to the U.S. from another county have a lot of obstacles to overcome: learning a new culture and sometimes learning a new language, too. The Mohantys of Woodbury have adapted to life in their adopted county but they now want to preserve their Indian heritage.

Joog co-founder AbdiFatah Farah makes comments after receiving the FBI's DCL Award

Minn. Somali youth group Ka Joog builds bridges

by Lolla Mohammed Nur

Ka Joog uses the arts, mentorship and discussions to build bridges and bridge gaps to help dispel negative images of the Somali community. The goals are lofty but Ka Joog is determined to make a difference.

Asma Adam and Lt. Eric Roeske

Teen driver resists the texting temptation

by Asma Adam

Traffic crashes were the leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year olds in 2010, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. For those young drivers, texting can be a tempting distraction, even though it is illegal to text and drive in Minnesota, people do it anyway. 18-year-old Young Reporter Asma Adam tells us she won't be one of them.

Mara Fink in the field

Best of Young Reporters 2010


MPR News Presents broadcast showcases all the 2010 stories in the Young Reporters Series, with commentary from producer Sasha Aslanian on the making of the series.

Sadiyo Mohamed

Best of Young Reporters 2009


MPR News Presents broadcast showcases all the 2009 stories in the Young Reporters Series, with commentary from producer Sasha Aslanian on the making of the series.

The Young Reporters Series pairs high school and college-age reporters from diverse backgrounds with an experienced MPR producer to create compelling stories for MPR News. Most of the stories have a first-person point of entry, and connect with larger issues that are timely and relevant in our community. Participants gain experience in research, interviewing, field recording, writing for radio, digital editing and voicing.

If you are interested in participating, please contact producer Toni Randolph or call 651-290-1223.