Say Something! Youth Voices


PMN collaborates with youth organizations in the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Township, Oshtemo Township, Comstock Township, and the City of Parchment to help youth share the untold stories of the people and places that are the foundations of their communities. 

The stories told by these students highlight their curiosities and bridge generational, racial, and technical divides. Through partnerships with youth organizations, PMN gives access to quality media equipment, studios, and hands-on training for students to become authentic storytellers. In addition, students have a credible media outlet and facilities at their disposal to engage their community. The result of these media partnerships is priceless. 

Colleagues International: Nearly a dozen Iraqi students visited the United States through a local organization called Colleagues International to learn more about U.S. culture. PMN collaborated with them to help students create their own media story of their visit to the U.S. Students of PMN’s summer camp interviewed their new Iraqi friends and then produced and hosted a talk show. In addition, Iraqi students were taught to use an iPad kit to create a digital story of their visit to America.

Eastside Voices: PMN collaborates with nonprofit organizations that work with youth to show just how media can be used to positively influence or educate their audience. Partnerships with community organizations led to a community oral history project called Eastside Voices. Through training and equipment loans, PMN enabled a youth media crew to create a video of some of their neighborhood’s oldest residents for a documentary to be released as part of their upcoming Community Night Out event in fall of 2019. 

Merze Tate Explorers: A partnership with the Merze Tate Explorers girl travel writers led to dozens of girls in grades 4-12 learning to film and edit their own media projects that air monthly on PMN. These girls interview women in various careers for a monthly show called “Explorers Ask the Experts.” Students have studio and on-location shoots that highlight those in their communities who inspire them.  

The partnerships between PMN and youth organizations are twofold. PMN cultivates a new generation of media-makers while youth learn how to use various digital platforms to share their voices. Both aspects of this partnership have led to opportunities to share stories with the community and beyond.