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Playlist: Youth and the Economy

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/87205205@N00/129116581/">vitaeer</a>
Image by: vitaeer 
Curated Playlist

Looking for stories about kids, teens and young adults and the economy? Here are some curated pieces and programs.

Also check out non-youth economy pieces.

High School Senior Weighs Options

From Youth Radio | 02:42

Like a lot of high school seniors, Mayra Jimenez is weighing her options after graduation, and hoping to be college bound but not broke.

Default-piece-image-1 The economy is making paying for college an even bigger financial challenge. Youth Radio contributor Mayra Jimenez has the motivation to go to college — she just hopes she can afford it.

Youth Voices On The Economy

From Youth Radio | 09:36

Vox featuring eleven young people around the country reflecting on the impact of the economic crisis on their lives.

Default-piece-image-0 Lots of people are worried about how the economic crisis will affect youth in the future. But young people are already living out the effects of the downturn, right now.

Recent College Graduate For Hire

From Youth Radio | 03:11

This year more than other years, a college degree is no guarantee of a job. Commentator Emma Jacobs of Youth Radio graduated spring 2009 from Columbia University with a history degree but without a job.

Default-piece-image-1 Across the country, college seniors are donning their caps and gowns, listening to lofty addresses by famous and not so famous commencement speakers, and entering “the real world.” In boom years of the past, many of these seniors would already have a job lined up. Not so this year. Youth Radio’s Emma Jacobs is a senior who just graduated from Columbia University with a history degree and without a job.

The New Lure of Government Jobs

From Youth Radio | 01:40

With job cuts across most sectors, college students who once coveted corporate cubicles are giving new thought to Government work.


The latest Labor Department report, released Friday, shows unemployment at its highest level in 25 years. According to the report, US employers shed 651,000 jobs in February. Among the hardest hit sectors were professional and business services, construction, and banking. Government is one of the few areas showing any type of growth, and that means growing interest in government jobs from college students who once coveted corporate cubicles.

Crashing the Party

From Rebecca Sheir | 03:08

The economic downturn is bringing outlandish bar and bat mitzvah parties back down to earth.

Batmitzvah_small If you have teenagers, then you might have been to a few bar or bat mitzvahs ("bar" is the one for a boy; "bat" for a girl). There's the religious ceremony, to mark a Jewish child's move into adulthood, and then... there's the party.

Before the economy went into the tank, some of these soirees had become so competitive that "over the top" was becoming the new norm. But the growing financial crisis might be crashing the party. Rebecca Sheir has more.

Stock Market Obsessed

From Youth Radio | 02:37

Youth Radio’s Lauren Silverman considers herself lucky. At 20 years old, she’s too young to have a life savings or house to lose. So she’s using the financial crisis as a so-called “teachable” moment.


For many people, the economic crisis has understandably been a source of frustration, but for 20 year old Lauren Silverman, the stock market and economic landscape was never something she thought much about.  And now that the economy is making daily news, Lauren has become interested in what it's all about and she's been teaching herself all about "credit default swaps" and "short sales."  So she’s using the financial crisis as a so-called “teachable” moment.

My Own Personal Recession

From Youth Radio | 02:02

Summer Sewell describes living in her own “personal recession” for years, and all the ways she scrimps and saves.

Default-piece-image-2 Summer Sewell describes living in her own “personal recession” for years, and all the ways she scrimps and saves.

Bright Minds, Dim Future

From UNICEF | Part of the Digital Diaries: Liberian Youth Voices series | 07:02

Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia, was first in his class and wants to be an engineer -- but he can’t afford the university fees.

Default-piece-image-0 "I want to be an engineer and be a part of the reconstruction of my country," says Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia.

But in spite of finishing first in his class in high school, Emmanuel will not be attending school next semester.  After his one-year scholarship to technical school ended in June, he realized he could not afford to continue.

“My mother is classroom teacher and she makes about $100 a month, or $1200 a year,” Emmanuel says.  By happenstance, that’s exactly how much a year of engineering school costs.  But his mother needs to pay rent, buy food, and pay school fees for Emmanuel’s younger sister.  

“She’s doing her best, but it just doesn’t seem to be working.  It’s heartbreaking,” Emmanuel says. 

Monrovia radio workshop

In August, Emmanuel was one of the participants in a week-long radio production workshop for 7 young people from Liberia. UNICEF Radio – in partnership with UNICEF's ‘Back on Track’ programme on Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, the UNICEF Liberia programme and Talking Drum Studios – conducted the workshop with three boys and four girls chosen from around the country.

The youths learned how to record, edit, write and produce a radio story of their own.

Emmanuel's story talked about what it is like to be a motivated, bright young man in Liberia without the means to continue studying.  One of Emmanuel’s professors tried to encourage him.  “This is a post-war country and people are facing the global [economic] crisis,” the professor said.  “You can’t be complacent.”

He told Emmanuel to apply for more scholarships from the ministry of education.  “If you go through with that with the requisite grade point average, I think you can be there as an engineer and you will be a prospect for your country.” 

UNICEF’s Liberia programme will broadcast all the youth’s stories too celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The CRC grants children the right to a quality education, among other rights.