On Our Radar: Football, Orphans and Online Love

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 1. The Football Finale

This past Sunday, the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers to become the 50th winners of the NFL’s Super Bowl. While many headlines came out of the spectacle–about the game, commercials and halftime show–we wanted to highlight three stories in particular:

  • YOLA, a youth orchestra out of Los Angeles got to perform on stage with Coldplay and co. during the halftime show!
  • Ronnie Hillman, a former member of Snoop Dogg’s Youth Football League (SYFL) became the first to come through that program and win the biggest title in professional football.
  • Youth Radio’s Garrison Pennington published a story about what it means to be from a “football family“, and how he (and his brother) chose to quit playing football out of safety concerns. But the Penningtons aren’t the only ones hanging up their cleats.”If you look at the latest statistics, there are almost 26 thousand fewer high school players today than there were in the 2008-2009 school year,” says Pennington.

 2. Depression in teens

On Monday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced that young people between the ages of 12-18 should be screened regularly for depression. The LA Times reports that 20% of teenagers will attempt suicide; in addition, depression is a huge factor in low grades and problems in interpersonal relationships for adolescents.


 3. Thousands of Nigerian Orphans Get Free Education

Over the past six years, the militant group known as Boko Haram has reportedly killed 17,000 people and caused millions to flee their homes; including more than 1 million children. In response, the government of Nigeria’s Borno State, a northeastern part of the country where many of the attacks have taken place,  is now offering educational scholarships to more than 2,300 juveniles orphaned during this time period. The scholarships are a follow up effort to that government’s 2015 initiative to revitalize damaged institutions, such as hospitals and schools.  


 4. Drinking and thinking: one college student’s letter to his unborn child

Kelvin Read, a senior at Syracuse University, found himself inebriated at a bar and contemplating how alcohol had impacted his life. He then penned a thoughtful letter to his future kids. Read acknowledges that alcohol can make you feel like a king and highlights how it is popularized in our culture, but urges his unborn child to be aware that alcohol is a depressant.   


 5. Tumblr > Cupid

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many people are searching high and low for love… or at least a date! Well, it seems as though LGBTQI youth are finding love online, but they aren’t using your traditional dating apps. According to one reportTumblr is now the platform of choice for young people looking to find that magical connection. While most online dating sites have an age requirement, Tumblr doesn’t. At the same time, Tumblr grants users anonymity that some other sites–cough, Facebook, cough–do not.


Check out last week’s On Our Radar: Politics As Unusual 

On Our Radar is Youth Radio’s weekly list of news you need to know now if you care about youth. 

Check in every week for more youth stories. 

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