Ah, To Be Young!

February 4th 2020
From Amanda’s Messy Desk….

The Youth DJ Project is not new on KWMR. West Marin’s airwaves have been welcoming young voices since the beginning. Think back to “The Punk from Inverness” hosted by Nachi Conde Farley (who started as a wee lad) and the on air personas of Oscar Gamez Jr., and Jorge Ramirez (who was on the air until recently when his work schedule precluded him from continuing).

Youth DJ was an institution when I got here. Mark Butler from Bolinas may have been the first official mentor “back in the day,” and for a time Arann Harris held the title. Camilla Flowerman, an intern took the program up a notch when she spent time doing outreach around Marin County to all schools. Long-time Program Director Lyons Filmer anchored the program, handling the frenetic scheduling of those with many activities, including school, vying for their time.

Once the Youth Centers became mainstays for young people, KWMR was able to coordinate directly with The Lounge, and The Loft. Volunteers have assisted with capturing audio from Tomales High School (transportation is a major issue for some of these youth). We are also engaged with outreach in Stinson and Bolinas.

Youth interns have joined the team from Berklee College of Music, Drake High School, and other secondary education providers. There frankly have been so many youth on the air in the past ten years since I have been at KWMR, that to list them all would make the Round Up look like an Annual Report.

Henry and Zeke, show up for Pledge Drive in STYLE!   photo: Creta Pullen

But don’t take it from me. I’m far from being a youth (except in my mind sometimes).

Here’s what some of our more recent youth DJs have to say:

“KWMR allows me to explore deeper into the world of music, giving me a platform to share my love and learning about music. Creating a show about the Beatles music era has given me insight into a period I knew very little about. The crew at KWMR, especially Lyons, has supported my learning experience and built my speaking confidence to a whole new level. I look forward to continuing to grow with KWMR!”

-Zoë Rocco-Zilber, 12 years old West Marin School student-7th grade

“Doing the youth DJ project has honestly just been really fun overall. Everything about it is just a great experience, and I love putting together my show and planning out what me and Zeke are gonna do exactly. It’s been great putting our music into playlists and then applying our preparation to our show. I think we’ve had really good guidance and the way it’s done is simple, yet you can add more to your experience if you want. You have a lot of control over what you want to do, and how much you want to commit to it.”
-Henry Yakich

“What’s so cool about KWMR … is being on the radio! And people hearing my thoughts and opinions. What I liked about doing a Youth DJ Show… is the vibe of KWMR and the people there.”

You can tune in to hear youth voices most Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 4-5 PM. Big thanks to KWMR Board Member and Programmer, Creta Pullen, who is mentoring many of the youth. Lyons Filmer is still assisting with Zoe (since she loves the Beatles, too), and new Program Director Jeff Manson is stepping up to the plate!

Youth voices are important to KWMR, they are fun to have on the air and in the station. What energy! Better than solar! If you know of an aspiring young broadcaster or DJ, please check out the information HERE.

Amanda Eichstaedt
Station Manager and Executive Director