Bronx Teens Win Prestigious National RFK Journalism Award
On May 26, 2010, three talented teens from the Bronx, Miguelina “Erikka” Diaz, Amon “AJ” Frazier and Keith Tingman, traveled to Washington, DC to accept the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, presented by Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy. The students won this national journalism award for their radio series “This is the South Bronx,” created during their time as Radio Rookies®. Remarkably, they were awarded the prize in the Domestic Radio category, not the student category.
While at The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center in the Bronx, all three teens created stories about their personal experiences for Radio Rookies®, a youth radio project of WNYC (New York Public Radio®). Since 1999, the program has provided teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world. AJ and Keith are currently freshman in high school and Erikka just completed her first year of college. Their moving stories about poverty, school promotion and incarcerated parents allowed for both a personal glimpse into their lives and a window to larger issues. The RFK Journalism Awards honor outstanding reporting on the issues that defined the life and work of Robert F. Kennedy: human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world. Each winner was awarded a cash prize and a bust of Robert Kennedy by sculptor Robert Berks, along with the sense that they had achieved a level of recognition for their stories that very few, including professional journalists, receive.