Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Teenage Diaries

Yesterday
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Since 1996, Radio Diaries has given tape recorders to young people around the country and worked with them to produce the Teenage Diaries series for NPR.

Today
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Teenage Diaries Revisited features new diaries from five of the people who let us into their lives sixteen years ago.

Tomorrow
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We've partnered with NPR and Cowbird.com on a contest to select the teenagers who will become part of the next generation of Teenage Diaries.

Since 1996, the Teenage Diaries series has given tape recorders to young people around the country. They conduct interviews, keep audio journals, and record the sounds of daily life — usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year, edited into documentaries airing on NPR’s All Things Considered. Whether it’s the story of Amanda, a gay teen trying to understand her sexuality, or the story of Juan, who crossed the Rio Grande with his family illegally, these stories offer insight into the mysterious life of teenagers.

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Amanda’s Diary: Girlfriend

Amanda is gay. Amanda’s family is Catholic. And she’s having a hard time convincing her parents that this is not “just a phase.”

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Josh’s Diaries: Tourette’s / First Kiss

Josh has Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal outbursts.

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Melissa’s Diaries: Teen Mom / Raising Issaiah

Melissa never meant to get pregnant. But now, after 12 years of living in the foster care system, she’s trying to build the family she never had.

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Frankie’s Diaries: Welcome Home, Dad / Football

Frankie always thought his family was pretty normal until the day the FBI showed up.

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Juan’s Diaries: Looking at the Rio Grande

Juan and his family crossed the Rio Grande illegally into Texas four years ago.

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Jeff’s Diary: Halfrican

More and more these days Jeff finds himself thinking about race as he’s confronted with the question “What are you?”

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Randy’s Diary: Remembering Ozell

While living on a farm that was once part of a slave plantation, Randy searches for clues about the life of his great-grandfather, the civil rights leader Ozell Mitchell.

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Emily’s Diary: Teenage Days

Emily gives an inside look at “sportos,” “krusties,” “krinkles,” and how being a teenager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Nick’s Diary: Home School to High School

Nick chronicles a turbulent year in his life. He’s 15-years-old and hates school, but somehow he must learn to make friends.

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Ricky’s Diary: What If God….

Ricky’s father is an atheist activist. Ricky is beginning his own search for something to believe in.

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Mandy’s Diary: God is My Guy

Mandy’s growing up with an evangelical pastor for a father.

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