Youth Radio

It's Your Media

aka YR Media   |   Oakland, CA   |


YR Media equips emerging content creators between the ages of 14-24, primarily BIPOC, with an immersive media arts education, top industry mentors, paid career-track employment, and holistic support services, including counseling and healthy food. Young people leverage these offerings to become civically engaged citizens driving systemic change and disruptors that diversify the traditional media landscape by creating stories, art, and music that matter.

Ruling year info



Ms. Kyra Kyles

Main address

1701 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

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NTEE code info

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Radio (A34)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

YR Media addresses two current problems in American democracy: 1. a journalism landscape in which the national conversation about our most pressing problems is missing the voices of our most vulnerable citizens; and 2. the sense of powerlessness and frustration felt by many young people living at the crux of these problems, eager to participate in the quest for solutions but excluded by age and circumstance from traditional power structures.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Radio's Digital Media Pathway

YR Media trains youth in broadcast journalism, radio and web production, engineering, media advocacy and literacy. Youth Radio training programs are conducted quarterly, and include: Beginning Media Training Program, including journalism and radio production; Advanced Media Training Program, including reporting, engineering and leadership; Web Media Training Program, including website design and an online radio station; Community Outreach and Peer Teaching, including off site training programs; Internships with local and national media outlets, including National Public Radio in D.C.; Violence Prevention Media Technical Assistance Program, and CAST, a mobile DJ production team.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


George Foster Peabody Award 2000

Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia

IRE Award for Investigative Journalism 2010

Investigative Reporters and Editors

Community Leadership Award 2010

Alameda County

Walk to End Poverty Honoree for Community Leadership 2010

Oakland City Council

Act of Courage Hero Award 2010

American Red Cross

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YR Media’s ultimate goal is to make young people better prepared for education, professional life, civic engagement, and lifelong commitment to addressing issues of social justice.

We aim to raise up the voices of young people across the nation and give them the platform they need to join the national conversations that impact their lives most.

In YR Media’s highly successful model of youth engagement, participants acquire the building blocks for disrupting and improving the inequitable conditions in society, and gain access to public platforms to make their voices heard. The acquisition of rigorous journalism skills and mass market media exposure for underrepresented youth creates life-changing opportunities for young leaders and enriches the media landscape-- and sometimes public policy -- for American society as a whole. Our participants learn to draw strong connections among communications skills, empowerment, civic engagement, and potential careers as they investigate stories and create interactive tools related to urgent issues of deep personal and community relevance.

Our platform at is based around peer to peer content. We publish content produced out of our Oakland headquarters alongside pieces sourced from a national network of young correspondents. The site puts young leaders across the country in conversation with one another and gives them the chance to learn from each other while driving vital discussions about our society, culture, and future. We recognize the power of youth voice and young leadership, and we believe that connecting diverse young people across the country will help both them and our democracy flourish.

Participants in Oakland go through six months of intensive media training in journalism, digital media, and the arts. Youth who complete this training are eligible for paid employment in our Oakland headquarters running and producing content for Outside of our core media training for 14-18 year-olds, we have separate entry points for out-of-school youth 18-24 and youth involved with the criminal justice system, which also feed into paid internships. All participants receive access to comprehensive wrap-around support services, including case management, referrals to mental health and social services, and healthy meals.

To cultivate the same standards in our national correspondents, we provide free toolkits on our platform to help youth across the country build their journalistic, artistic and digital media skills. These resources give young people nationwide a way to access the network our platform to amplify their voice.

YR Media leads the field in developing underrepresented youth for roles in media and better preparing them for school and life. YR has an unprecedented ability to get media pieces by youth to audiences in the tens of millions monthly, building the skills and the confidence of its young participants and exposing listeners, viewers, and readers in the mainstream to critically important youth perspectives and ideas. For these reasons, YR is uniquely positioned to leverage young people’s affinity for communications, technology and storytelling on new media platforms, through a two-fold strategy that both provides the necessary skills training and professional experience, as well as the platform for investigation and analysis to youth and adult audiences.

YR’s media training takes place in our four-story, 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art multimedia production facility in the heart of downtown Oakland, California. The building features 3 professional studios, a 25-seat Mac-enabled classroom, and 8 soundproof editing booths. Young people train and produce content on industry-standard equipment, preparing them to immediately enter various arts and digital media fields.

Our platform at is the first daily news and culture destination for youth ages 17-28. It provides our young people a way to share their reporting, op eds, art, and music with a national audience of their peers. The site is run by youth in our Oakland headquarters, giving them experience producing content and maintaining a daily web platform.

Over YR Media’s 25-year history, we we have designed and tested our programs and services with our community’s highest-need young people. Our full enrollment and perpetually wait-listed programs are a testament to the vital need we are filling in the community.

YR’s youth-driven content has continually garnered praise and received professional recognition from prestigious media organizations. YR is the recipient of over 60 journalism awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, and the Alfred I. Dupont - Columbia Award. Our content reaches an audience of over 30 million through our own platform and partner outlets like NPR, The New York Times, and Teen Vogue.

In 2018, we transitioned from Youth Radio to YR Media as part of our four-year, $10 Million strategic growth plan: the new name represents our expansion from a local organization that produces content for national outlets into a national network of youth journalists and artists leading our owner-operated platform, The platform is the first daily news and culture destination run by and for young people, and it will allow us to more deeply engage with our audience about the issues that matter to them. is geared toward 17-27 year olds and features daily news; opinion and perspective pieces; arts journalism, reviews, and playlists; a podcast (ADULT ISH); and documentary projects.

Looking forward, YR Media aims to further develop our audience and take advantage of our unique position in the market as the only media enterprise producing content by and for young people. We anticipate to see sustained audience growth over the coming years as we build on our legacy of journalistic excellence and expand our national network of correspondents.

YR Media also has plans to develop an earned revenue strategy to sustain YR’s growth. We have experimented with work-for-hire for clients like the ACLU and California State University, Sacramento, and we will take the learnings from these projects to make earned revenue an integral part of our funding.

To deepen the connections within our network, YR will launch a national listening tour to learn from our long­standing youth media partners and alumni, new­-to-­us organizations and communities, and to identify key regional partnerships as well as gaps in engagement. Through these events, we are working to identify and amplify issues and conversations that are of deep importance to young people in communities across the country, but haven’t bubbled up into a “movement.” Between this tour and a series of workshops, we will have the opportunity to engage in-person with young people across the country.


Youth Radio

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Youth Radio

Board of directors
as of 03/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Luc Bellet

The Clorox Company

Keven Guillory

Frank Martin

East Bay Community Law Center

Mark Bauman

Vice President of Marketing

Lori Kaplan

Executive Director

Gary Rydstrom

Sound Designer

Steve Fainaru

Senior Writer

Julie Jensen


Seth Hamalian


Julius Toledo

Entertainment One

Juniper Downs


Luc Bellet

The Clorox Company

Christopher Shearer

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Christopher Howie

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Marlene Millikan

Emily Goligoski

Membership Puzzle Project

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No