By Cynthia Brian
November 21 marks the third anniversary of the internationally broadcast radio program, Express Yourself!™. Launched in 2011 on the Voice America Kids Network as an outreach service of the Moraga non profit, Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3, (www.BTSYA.org) with five local youth, the program has become a top rated program in the world on the network and now boasts thirty reporters and hosts from around the country. Steven Zhou, now studying at Pepperdine University, is thrilled to know that the efforts he began in high school as the show’s first host and administrator are still going strong. Rachel Glass, who began working with Be the Star You Are!® when she was just thirteen and was one of the original reporters, is now a journalism major in college . She credits her love of writing, researching, and broadcasting to her work on Express Yourself!™ Besides regularly hosting the show when school doesn’t interfere, Rachel is President of the National Broadcasting Society at University of Oregon. Courtney Cheng, a student at CAL Berkeley was another founding member of the team as a reporter for Book It. Courtney still hosts and reports and commented “Express Yourself!™, Be the Star You Are!® and Voice America Kids have given me the chance to expand my horizons and reach out to people. Not only do I get to speak on the radio to inspirational people about things that we’re passionate about, but I also have so much fun while doing so.”
A current teen host, Henna Hundal stated: “Working on Express Yourself! has honed my skills as a journalist to effectively report on a vast variety of topics. I can now not only discuss fun topics like favorite books or the latest teen trends, but I’m also able to talk about the tough issues like bullying and domestic violence. Through the show, I’ve learned how to carefully probe these tough topics by having my curiosity and inquisitiveness tempered with empathy and care.” Asya Gonzalez, founder of She is Worth It!, is a reporter and host living in Colorado. “I have had such an amazing experience with Be The Star You Are!® They have encouraged me to reach further into my community and to do better. I am always striving to serve and show others that they too can be socially responsible. I believe that BTSYA is an EXCELLENT resource for youth and others to learn how to be socially responsible AND reach for their dreams!” A host and reporter from New Jersey, Katelyn Darrow appreciates all the love, kindness, and opportunities that being part of Express Yourself!™ has brought to her. Her charity, Angels of God, was recently profiled on the Steve Harvey Show. Caiseen Kelley is a host, guest coordinator, and the Techy Talk reporter for the program. “This has been the opportunity of a lifetime. My sister Caie enjoyed the experience so much, that I was destined to follow suit. This is a unique chance to get unedited opinions from, for, and by youth expressed around the world. Express Yourself!™ lives up to its motto of Where teens talk and the world listens!” Caie Kelley agreed. “Being on Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Radio has been such a fun, enriching experience. It is so cool that we are able to reach such a large audience discussing a huge range of topics from crazy pets to self-harm to smart decision making.”
Born in Korea, Youngjoo Ahn served as the main host of Express Yourself!™ for almost two years. “I am so grateful to Express Yourself!™ and Voice America Kids for the wonderful opportunity that they have given me. It’s amazing to think that every week an ordinary girl can be the voice of teens around the world. Being on the radio is so much fun and I’ve been able to meet other extraordinary people who are so passionate about what they do. I would not be the same without Be the Star You Are!®, Express Yourself!™ and Voice America Kids.” In addition to these hosts, numerous other teens are reporters from various states.
Produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc for Be the Star You Are!® charity, the program broadcasts every Tuesday at NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network to 132 countries with direction by Bruce Solstein and Perry Damone of Kidstar. Tune in at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself.
Photos, descriptions, links, and archives of the shows are available at www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com. All shows are also available at ITUNES at https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2.
Congratulations to all the teens and guests who make Express Yourself!™a top rated program. To make a donation to Be the Star You Are!® to help support the broadcast of the show, please visit http://www.BTSYA.org.
For youth interested in getting involved, send an email to the producer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read about local teens on Express Yourself at: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0819/Local-Teens-Celebrate-Three-Years-on-Radio.html