​KNKX Take the Mic | KNKX

​KNKX Take the Mic


First we had a global pandemic. Now, people are marching in the streets over police brutality against Black people. How are YOU making sense of the world? How has YOUR life changed? 

KNKX's Take the Mic youth voices series is a way to turn the "microphone" over to teens and kids. We want to hear from you - and maybe share your story on the radio!



  • Have you taken to the streets to protest? If so, why? What was that experience like? 
  • How have you been affected by racism? Do you have specific stories you can share? 
  • What are your fears right now? What brings you peace?
  • Since the pandemic hit, how has your life changed? Are your parents working outside the home? Interview them about what that's like and what their worries are.
  • Describe a recent happy moment in detail! We all need a bit of joy

EASY VERSION: Take out your phone. Hit record on the voice memo app and speak! Pick one or more of the questions to answer and tell us about your life, your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences. Email that audio (we’re looking for at least a few minutes’ worth) to agross@knkx.org. Include your full name, age, school, grade and a phone number so we can call you back to get permission to broadcast it.

MORE ADVANCED VERSION:  Record your thoughts, feelings, stories into your voice memo app, answering one or more of the questions above. And then interview a family member to get their perspective! Send all of that audio to agross@knkx.org. Include your full name, age, school, grade and a phone number so we can call you back to get permission to mix the audio together in a radio story and broadcast it.

We look forward to hearing from you! 



Caliya Bullock

As families adjust to distance learning, what’s the experience like for a parent? A teenager? A third grader?

Caliya Bullock, 16, decided to find out. She’s a junior at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines. As part of our Take the Mic youth voices project, Caliya reported and produced her own radio story. She interviewed her cousins, Kaiden, Kyle Jr., Nevaeh and Makiyah. Kaiden and Kyle attend Covington Elementary School and Nevaeh and Makiyah attend Kentwood High School.

Ukweli Bayard, an 18-year-old from Tacoma, interviewed his friends about how they're feeling heading to college when most of their classes will be online. His story is part of our Take the Mic youth voices project.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Canceled proms. Virtual graduations. Eighteen-year-olds have been through a lot this year.

Now many are starting what’s likely to be a pretty bizarre year of college.

courtesy of Alayshia Baggett

When Alayshia Baggett, an 18-year-old from Tacoma, saw the video of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, she said she felt a lot of anxiety.

“I was going back and forth through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just refreshing, refreshing,” she said. “Because things were just popping off.”

courtesy of Lian Koeppel

The virus that has swept our country crushed the dreams of a lot of high school seniors.

Lian Koeppel, an 18-year-old from Richland, had been picturing since middle school the beautiful long red gown she’d wear to her senior prom. And she pushed herself through high school with her heart set on being valedictorian, standing up on stage to give her speech to all her classmates, family members and teachers.

Sumeya Block, left, and Anabel Lee, right, are friends who teamed up to create a podcast about life in Seattle during the pandemic.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Life has shifted in dramatic ways this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two teens in Seattle — aware that they’re experiencing history in the making — decided to document those changes and produced a podcast about COVID-19 life from the high school point of view.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

So many deaths of Black people at the hands of police in the U.S.

Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor — heartbreakingly, that's just a subset of names.

But now, the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, captured on video as he said repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe while a kneeling police officer pinned him to the ground, has sparked a new level of outrage that’s propelled people across the country to take to the streets.

For Black teens in Washington state, George Floyd’s death in police custody was sadly familiar.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

February was a high point for Olawumi Olaniyan. The 12-year-old seventh grader from Heatherwood Middle School in Mill Creek had traveled with her recreational cheerleading team, the Bruins Elite, to Anaheim, California, for nationals. The girls accomplished what they’d always dreamed of — winning first place.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic, bringing an abrupt close to her cheerleading’s parade season, just as it truncated seasons for so many other young athletes. But Olawumi has found a way to redirect her cheerleading energy.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

“My happiest quarantine memory is beating the crap out of a piñata.”

That vivid opening line comes from Barrett Stowe, a 16-year-old sophomore at Tacoma School of the Arts. He contributed a story about his moment of joy amid the pandemic for KNKX’s Take the Mic youth voices project.

courtesy of Karla Perrin

We've all had to give up parts of our lives as we stay home to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional sports leagues, including the NBA and NHL, have suspended their seasons. And young athletes have had to put their dreams on hold, as well. That’s true for Whittaker Perrin, who is 13 years old and a seventh-grader at Heatherwood Middle School in Mill Creek.

courtesy of Aulona Hoxha

The coronavirus pandemic has turned all of our lives upside-down. But what is it like to live through this crisis as a kid or a teen?