Student Reporting Labs launches new season of award-winning On Our Minds podcast in collaboration with KUOW’s RadioActive Youth Media
On the heels of three successful seasons of On Our Minds, the teen mental health and wellbeing podcast from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL), last year’s hosts are passing the mic to two new teen hosts for season four: Bree Campbell and James Kim.
Mental health challenges are among the leading causes of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, according to the WHO. Despite recent recognition of this issue – even the U.S. Surgeon General (who will be an upcoming guest this season!) named youth mental health as one of six national priorities – news coverage of youth mental health is overwhelmingly reported by adults.
On Our Minds is hosted by and co-created with teens: last year over 40 students contributed to the production of the podcast, and season four involves dozens of student producers, content creators, and researchers.
“We began On Our Minds because of a growing student interest in audio storytelling and teenagers’ declining mental health, worsened by the pandemic,” says Lead Podcast Producer Briget Ganske. “Each season, we offer additional opportunities for youth involvement, which makes the show as ‘made for teens, by teens’ as possible. It’s an honor to work on a project that is both a content initiative and a source of connection, community, and support for young people.”
This season, On Our Minds will cover topics like defining success, gender and masculinity, new censorship laws affecting teens, music and how it boosts our mood, and more. Special guests will include the U.S. Surgeon General plus young musicians and influencers. Episodes will be released every other Wednesday starting January 10, 2024. On Our Minds is distributed by PRX; listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Meet the Hosts
Bree Campbell, seventeen, is a senior at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts from Queens in New York City. She was born and raised in New York City and has many interests, including audio journalism, public advocacy, and film and media. Bree is also a youth activist and community organizer.
“After listening for three seasons straight, I’ve resonated with the various topics and the hosts themselves,” says Bree. “This opportunity means so much to me, and I can’t wait to connect with the audience while I learn more and advocate for mental health awareness along the way.”
James Kim, seventeen, is a senior at Prosper High School in the Dallas metropolitan area with hopes to one day serve in the military. In his community, he finds fulfillment as the president of his school’s speech and debate program and as the worship leader at his local church. His linguistic versatility extends to English, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, reflecting his passion for connecting with people from diverse backgrounds. In his leisure time, James enjoys performing stand-up comedy and teaching himself Mandarin.
“I look forward to delving into the pressing topics and stories that shape the teenage experience,” said James. “Like the previous hosts, I hope to use this platform to connect with listeners of diverse backgrounds and shed light on the all too common yet under-covered mental health challenges that young people face.”
On Our Minds Season 4 is a collaboration with KUOW’s RadioActive
RadioActive’s workshops help youth discover public radio journalism, learn basic radio storytelling skills, and share their voice. Their team hosted an in-person training for the On Our Minds hosts at their Seattle studios this fall, and three alumni from RadioActive will help mentor students and edit episodes this season:
- Antonio Nevarez, a sophomore at Seattle Pacific University
- Alayna Ly, a sophomore at the University of Washington in Seattle
- Frankie St. Pierre Nelson, a junior at the University of Redlands
On Our Minds will also collaborate with This Teenage Life, another podcast featuring the teenagers’ experiences. Together On Our Minds and This Teenage Life will interview the sibling duo band Lawrence and other young influencers.
Last year, over 40 students contributed to the production of On Our Minds. This season, On Our Minds continues working with dozens of student producers, content creators, and researchers from around the country, including:
- Social Media Content Creator: Pierce Martin, a high school senior at Rouse High School in Leander, Texas
- Researcher and Fact-Checker: Simran Gupta, a high school junior at Alliance Academy for Innovation in Cumming, Georgia.
“It’s important that everyone be able to not only absorb information but also interpret that knowledge in a way that’s meaningful” – Simran Gupta
The production team wants to include even more student stories this season! Contribute to On Our Minds by recording and submitting your question or story for the Dear On Our Minds segment. If you are a student producer interested in pitching your reported story idea, complete this student producer form by January 12. More information on that process here.
About Student Reporting Labs
Student Reporting Labs (SRL) is a national youth journalism program and public media initiative of PBS NewsHour and WETA that trains teenagers across the country to produce stories that highlight the achievements, challenges, and reality of today’s young people. SRL creates transformative educational experiences through video journalism that inspire students to find their voice and engage in their communities. Since 2009, SRL youth media producers have helped students place over 100 video news reports on PBS NewsHour’s nightly broadcast and more on local media outlets and reach 3,000 educators through its free learning platform StoryMaker. Visit www.studentreportinglabs.org and www.story-maker.org to learn more.
About PBS NewsHour
PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of WETA Washington, DC. Major corporate funding is provided by BNSF, Consumer Cellular, Fidelity, Johnson & Johnson, and Raymond James, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Skoll Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. You can watch and find NewsHour on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. NewsHour Productions also produces PBS News Weekend and Washington Week.
About KUOW’s RadioActive
RadioActive is a year-round radio journalism program for young people at KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio in Seattle. The program was founded in 2004 when high school students came to KUOW and asked to hang out during the summer and learn how radio gets made. It was permanently established in 2013 and since then has worked with over 6000 youth. Young people’s perspectives are not heard enough in the media. That’s why RadioActive exists. Our youth producers have gone on to win prestigious journalism awards, produce and host national podcasts, and anchor national primetime TV shows. We currently have four RadioActive alums in full-time staff positions at KUOW, and many more working at public media stations around the country. Listen to podcast episodes by RadioActive Youth Media producers at https://www.kuow.org/podcasts/radioactive.
Founded in 1961, the Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA) is the leading public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational, cultural, news and public affairs programs and services. WETA hosts the production of PBS NewsHour, a classical music radio station, and programming that focuses on the United Kingdom. Learn more at https://weta.org.
About Well Beings
The Well Beings campaign addresses the critical health needs of Americans through broadcast content, original digital content, and impactful local events. The multi-year campaign, created by WETA Washington, D.C., brings together partners from across the country, including patients, families, caregivers, teachers, medical and mental health professionals, social service agencies, private foundations, filmmakers, corporations and media sponsors, to create awareness and resources for better health for all. For more information, visit https://wellbeings.org.