YES Programs



Amplifying YES Voices

Podcast Workshop Logo that says YES Voices Podcasting Workshop with StoryCenter in blue font with a blue microphone against a white background
Podcast workshop participant holding up her computer and smiling and making finger hearts with one hand

Beginning in January, 20 YES alumni from 14 countries joined together for the YES Voices Podcasting Workshop. In this workshop, participants are learning about podcast production and creating their own podcast segments. The workshop is facilitated by the StoryCenter, a digital storytelling organization that has been facilitating innovative arts approaches to participatory media creation for nearly 30 years. Participants are working together in pairs to create podcast segments that will bring awareness of issues in their local communities and expand the impact of their YES alumni projects. 

Right now, participants are in week 5 of the workshop and are narrowing down the focus of their projects. The participants are covering a variety of topics in their podcast segments, such as interfaith dialogue, gender equality, food insecurity, mental health awareness, youth leadership, and public health.

Moones Hussein (YES 2016 - 2017, Libya, placed by YFU in Meadville, PA), says, “I have been wanting to start a podcast for almost four years now but I never knew what to do. When we started having the sessions, it was surprising for me to learn not just the answers for all the questions that I wanted to ask, but also the many aspects of creating a podcast that I had never considered.”

So far, the participants have discussed the six elements of audio storytelling, how to develop a podcast theme and identity, and interviewing techniques. The participants are listening to and analyzing a variety of podcasts, which serve as excellent examples of storytelling, and through that, learning how to tell compelling stories in audio format. They are also learning best practices for recording audio, audio editing techniques, and how to create connective pieces for a podcast segment, such as episode introductions, soundbeds, transitions, and bumpers. 

Mirna Derbieh (YES 2020 - 2021, Lebanon, placed virtually by PAX in Portland, IN) said, “The atmosphere is so engaging; it makes me feel comfortable to share my thoughts with all of the participants. I always gain so much knowledge from each and every comment and thought!”

Podcast workshop trainer taking selfie with Zoom screen with podcast workshop participants

Participants will continue to meet virtually until late February. Then, they will have four weeks to work asynchronously with their partners to gather interviews and record audio for their podcast segments. In late March, participants will meet in person in Albania to complete the editing and production of their podcast segments. They will work collaboratively to offer feedback, reflect on their work, debrief what they learned from the workshop, discuss next steps for their podcasting plans, and brainstorm follow-on project ideas. Following the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to apply for grant funding to further their podcasting skills and share their knowledge with other YES alumni and interested youth in their communities. 

Samiur Rahman (YES 2013 - 2014, Bangladesh, placed by CIEE in Rush Springs, OK) said, “Being part of this amazing group and learning a brand new communication format has been eye opening for me, and I am walking in a field of brand new ideas and platforms of storytelling that I have never thought before.”

The workshop is equipping participants with the skills to take their alumni projects to the next level and effectively use auditory storytelling to share the impact to their alumni work. Through their podcasts, alumni will amplify their voices on issues that are important to them and to other YES alumni and their communities.

Heba Alsaidi (YES 2013 - 2014, Gaza, placed by CIEE in Lake Stevens, WA) said, “Even though we’ll only be producing one segment for the workshop, I am planning to continue with the work so I can spread awareness about female empowerment by applying the main elements of storytelling and showcasing examples of successful females from diverse backgrounds across Africa and the Middle East. It sounds pretty complex for a beginner as myself but I believe with hard work and will, it shall happen.”