Think back to when you were 16 years old… What would you have said into a microphone? What would it sound like when you turned 30? Originally recorded in 1996, "Teenage Diaries" by Radio Diaries, showcased five teenagers sharing their stories.
On May 6th-10th The Story on witf will air the original diaries day-by-day, while NPR's All Things Considered debuts the new "Teenage Diaries Revisited".
Each day, The Story will share a different diary. After each program, Joe Richman, executive producer of Radio Diaries, will speak about this ongoing project and why he returned to it. "There's something magical about handing someone a microphone to tell their own story."
The original Teenage Diaries include:
- Amanda (New York City)
At the age of 17, Amanda knew she was gay, but her Catholic parents kept insisting she'd grow out of it. Today, a lot has changed in the country, and within her own family. In her new story, Amanda goes back to her parents to find out how they came to accept her sexuality.
- Juan (Colorado)
Sixteen years ago, Juan documented his life as a recent Mexican immigrant living in poverty in Texas. Juan's updated diary tours the life he has built since he first crossed the Rio Grande. It looks a lot like the typical American dream: a house, 2 cars, 3 kids – except for the fact that he's still living as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S.
- Melissa (New Jersey)
As an 18 year old raised in the foster care system, Melissa took NPR listeners along when she gave birth to her son, Issaiah. Since then, Melissa and her son have faced many challenges, from eviction notices to her son's life-threatening medical diagnosis. In her new diary, she talks to her son for the first time about the circumstance of his birth.
- Frankie (Alabama)
Frankie was a high school football star and a staple feature in his hometown newspaper. Years after graduating, Frankie was back in the paper – this time, for a drug-related arrest. Now, after a devastating addiction to crystal meth and with a baby on the way, Frankie documents his attempts to repair his relationship with his family.
- Josh (New York City)
In high school, Josh documented his life with Tourette's Syndrome: a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal outbursts. Today, Josh has overcome Tourette's enough to become a NYC public school teacher, but not enough to remain one. Josh's new diary is about trying to live a normal adult life with a brain that often betrays him.
Listen to The Story on witf FM every weekday afternoon at 1pm.