DENVER — A partnership between Youth on Record and Colorado Young Leaders produced a podcast that tackles social issues like racism, equity, and local politics with the goal of bringing together youth and adults.
Generation Collaboration is a youth-led podcast that focuses on change. The episodes are co-hosted by Sonakshi Srivastava and Brayden Parsons, two metro area high school seniors, who invite local adult leaders and youth on to their show to talk about social issues in their communities.
“It’s really about having these inter-generational conversations with youth and adults,” Srivastava said. “Talking about each of their stories and bring light to sheltered topics within our community that are important to not only Brayden and I, but are important to our community and youth around us as well.”
Each episode is filled with discussions between local leaders and youth talking about topics like equity in classrooms, criminal justice reform and youth leadership. Co-host Brayden Parsons said the podcast gives teenagers a voice.
“It’s just all about hearing their stories and helping their stories be heard throughout all of Colorado,” Parsons said. “It’s a program that focuses on helping everybody, repair any harm that was caused and making sure that our community is only growing and we’re staying together.”
Sonakshi and Brayden said they both have a passion for storytelling and learning from their community. They said their experiences growing up are part of the reason why they wanted to host the monthly podcast.
“Growing up, I never really saw anybody like myself on television,” Srivastava said. “Being a South Asian woman, I think that definitely plays a factor into that, because I want to be able to provide that representation.”
“As a Gay kid in a private Christian high school, it’s a little difficult. I’ve faced a few challenges along the way,” Parsons said. “A big reason why I’m on this podcast is to highlight the voices of youth so other youth can hear ‘If they’re doing it, I can do it,’ and I want other kids to hear that, because that’s what got me involved.”
David Ladon is the Youth Success Manager for Youth on Record. He said the goal of the podcast is to provide a platform for young people to have their voices heard.
“Across the world, young people are silenced,” Ladon said. “There are very few platforms for them to have their voices amplified, and so part of the core values of our program is to provide the tools and resources for young people to talk about and explore the things that are important to them.”
Both Srivastava and Parsons are on a mission to make connections and learn from their podcast guests. They said they want to give their listeners a good reason to tune in each month.
“We know that people out there are listening, and our listeners are tuning in and hearing stories that maybe aren’t talked about daily because they are pretty stigmatized conversations,” Srivastava said. “I think being able to provide that platform for people out there and for them to be able to just listen and add to their story. I think it’s the coolest thing.”
For more information about the Generation Collaboration podcast, click here: https://www.youthonrecord.org/innovation/podcasting.