Project: Radio Series on “50 Years: Reflect, Refresh, Renew” at the 2016 AFN Convention
Grantee: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Story by: Joel de Jesus

I had the opportunity to participate in a Koahnic Broadcast Corporation project that was funded by a Heritage Project Grant from The CIRI Foundation. We attended the 2016 Alaska Federation of Natives event in Fairbanks, AK. I helped, along with several other people, teach our future generation the art of making sound modules that consisted of audio they captured throughout the Elders and Youth portion of AFN.

From beginning to end, I mentored and taught high school students how to pick a desired topic about AFN that intrigues them, collect media using state-of-the-art recording equipment, record voice-overs, conduct interviews and edit them with special audio editing software.

I was impressed to see how quickly the students took to the whole process. How willing they were able to come out of their comfort zone to achieve the goals of creating an audio module. These audio rich interviews would later be aired on Koahnic’s own radio station, 90.3FM KNBA, along with several other stations across Alaska. The students were able to accomplish something that is very difficult for even today’s journalist.

Overall I was very proud of what the students were able to achieve in such a short time. The project was well received by the students. They had told me they enjoyed themselves very much. They also were excited that their final edited audio bytes would be heard over multiple radio stations. A large majority of them contacted their home villages eager to inform friends and relatives that they would be on the radio and to make sure to tune in.

It is my belief that this TCF grant funded project not only enriched the lives of the students, but mine as well. One of the common attributes among all Native Corporations is investing in our future. These high school students are our future, and this project empowered our forthcoming youth with tools and knowledge to ensure their ability to accomplish whatever they want.

Photo shows Youth Media Makers group, provided by Koahnic Broadcast Company