In this Act, we argue that the epicenter of prom genius—the place where America's prom future is being born—is the town of Racine, Wisconsin. In Racine, they've added one ingredient to prom that takes it to a whole new level of intensity.
Sylvia becomes the first person in her Mexican-American family to go away to college, at a predominantly white school in upstate New York.
Lots of babysitting is done by family members. Hillary Frank reports on what can happen when a teenaged son is put in charge of his younger brothers.
Myron Jones and his sister Carol Bove explain what happened when they were teenagers, and they ended up babysitting children who didn't exist.
In this act, we hear from the rowdier, drunker late-night patrons of the Golden Apple. A guy walks in with two young women, hoping to go home with one of them.
Host Ira Glass talks with Bennett Miller and Matt Futterman about a campaign for student government that changed the way student elections were done in Mamaroneck High School back in 1985. Futterman, in the waning days of his campaign, tried a radical tactic: A TV ad.
There's little in adult life that can hurt as much as a character assassination attack when it happens in junior high school. We hear the story of how one boy organizes the entire school against his former best friend, a guy named Bob Cucuzza.
When Jessica Robinson was sent to adult prison at the age of 14, the state did such a terrible job taking care of her that several women—an embezzler, a convicted murderer, and some thieves—stepped in to mother her. Alex Kotlowitz reports.
A story about the Broadway show Rent, the thrill of sitting close to the stage...and the evil it can lead to.
A high school student explains the intricacies of a four-year crush, and declares that having a crush can be better than having a boyfriend.
Here in America, here's how we interact with our political candidates: We dispatch middlemen to the scene, they listen to what the candidates say, they research the candidates' backgrounds, and they tell us what they think is most important. Those middlemen, of course, are journalists.
Alex Blumberg tells the story of citizens who feel perfectly connected to their candidate of choice. Citizens who feel inspired by him.
The story of a teenagers' party among teenagers who thought of themselves as very grownup. In many ways they completely understand what a grownup party is like: Quiet conversation with lots of thoughtful nodding of heads, alcohol without excessive or loud consumption.
Mike Paterniti talks about working on a teen ambulance corps, growing up in Connecticut.
This is another story of a young person making a huge, life-changing decision about his own fate while still very young. Hillary Frank tells the story, about her own little brother—and his trumpet.
This is the story of two people—one in his late teens, one in his late fifties. Both have good reasons to be mad at the world, but what they did with their anger—and what society did with them—are very different.
When a nurse asks a 14-year-old burn victim out for ice cream, is it a date? Brent Runyon tells the story, which was produced by Jay Allison, part of his Life Stories series, with help from Christina Egloff and funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The story is part of Runyon's book The Burn Journals. Ira then speaks with an interested party.
This American Life host Ira Glass and producer Susan Burton spent a week in August recording a suburban Chicago youth group at every stage of their very first mission trip. The teenagers were from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
These teenagers are the children the Christian right has in mind when it holds conferences on what's at stake in America's culture war. On the fourteen-hour drive to West Virginia, we listen to the Backstreet Boys and talk about Dawson's Creek. One of the things that's so interesting about these teenagers is the odd mix of Christian and secular pop in their lives.
The teenagers arrive in West Virginia and take a look around.
Hardships begin. Their leader gets sick.
One great thing about staying in a camp of 130 other Christians is the much-better-than-in-school chance of meeting a nice, cute Christian boy.
The teenagers try to get to know the locals, without a lot of success.
Some improvements in their missionary work.