Host Ira talks with comedian Gary Gulman about his transformation from high school nobody to football star.
Gary puts on a tough guy costume, but will it turn him into a tough guy? Ira continues Gary Gulman’s story.
Ira Glass talks to Bim Adewunmi about her understanding of delight through American pop culture and the summer she spent in the US as a 19-year-old.
Hannah Dreier with ProPublica spent a year reporting in Brentwood, Long Island where three teenagers mysteriously disappeared. All three were considered runaways by the Suffolk County Police.
Ira talks to producer Sean Cole about a video he found of the rap duo Run the Jewels—giving advice to teenage girls.
Sean continues his story about Rookie Magazine's Ask A Grown, and goes through some particularly interesting moments of advice from famous people to regular teen girls. Watch more videos from Ask A Grown. (14 1/2 minutes) Ira's Ask A Grown Video
A teenager reports what it is like to be inside an abusive relationship with an older man. This piece was created by WNYC’s Radio Rookies program.
Tina Dupuy was a teenage alcoholic. She joined Alcoholics Anonymous at the age of 12, got sober by 13.
Sarah Koenig tells the story of the murder of Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior in Baltimore County, Maryland. She disappeared after school one day in January, 1999.
Chana Joffe-Walt tells the story of a teenager named Michael. Like a lot of teenagers Michael decides to follow his dreams — and that to follow his dreams, he’s going to need to make a total change.
Writer Domingo Martinez tells a story from his memoir The Boy Kings of Texas, about when he was forced to face how he might look in 20 years, if he kept doing what he was doing.
When you're a preteen, you walk around every day with the knowledge that your body is about to change. You don’t know exactly when or how.
Ira talks to Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admissions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech. Clark says the latest trend in misguided college admissions efforts: parents emailing and calling the admissions office, pretending to be their own children.
Christine Gentry grew up in a house in Texas where there was one important rule above all others. It came from her dad: we have loaded guns in the house, and even though I’ve taught you how to shoot them, no one can ever touch them without me being there.
Hannah Jacoby tells the story of when she and her best friend Lindsey bonded over those toy soldiers with the parachutes, called (really) Poopatroopers — and how the little jumpers perfectly bookended their high-school years. And guest host Sarah Koenig explains the very interesting trends we discovered in our listeners' coincidences.
Principal Leonetta Sanders is worried that in the wake of a recent shooting, some of her students at Harper might be in danger of retaliatory violence. The threat is so real, she's considering canceling the school's Homecoming football game and dance.
Most murders in Chicago happen in public places — parks, alleyways, cars. Scores of Harper students will tell you they've actually seen someone shot.
Reporter Ben Calhoun tells the story of Terrance Green, a 16-year-old who was killed three years ago but is still an iconic presence at Harper.
Chicago has strict gun laws but, obviously, teenagers are somehow getting their hands on guns. Lots of guns.
In the first hour of our Harper High School shows, Alex Kotlowitz talked to a junior named Devonte who a year earlier had accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old brother. Devonte was forming a strong relationship with Crystal Smith, one of the social workers, and beginning to come to terms with both his grief and guilt.
Late in the semester, Principal Sanders takes a look at her budget. It doesn't look good.
Harper High School
So many of the shootings in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, the neighborhood where Harper High sits, are characterized as "gang-related." Often, the implication is that gang-related means there is a reason to the shooting — huge, established gangs shooting it out over drug territory. Gang-related often implies you must've deserved it, a certain level of 'what goes around comes around.' Reporter Linda Lutton talks to dozens of Harper students who say adults don't understand that that's not the way it works.
Reporter Alex Kotlowitz spends time in the social work office, where the effects of gun violence are most often apparent. Early on in the year, social worker Crystal Smith spends time with a junior named Devonte, talking him through his grief and guilt after Devonte accidentally shot and killed his 14 year old brother last year.