City in the Community’s Youth Leadership Council (YLC) have launched a new, youth-led podcast, Soccer Bloc.
The podcast, available now on TuneIn, Spotify, and iTunes, gives voices throughout New York City a platform to share their stories, discuss real-world topics and issues occurring in their communities across the five boroughs.
The new show is presented by members of the CITC Youth Leadership Council (YLC), including: Kweku Brew, Maria Ramirez, Chelsea Quito, Gwendolyn Hernandez and Kimberly Molina, as well as NYCFC’s gameday Instagram host & YLC group facilitator, Kwame King.
Members of City in the Community’s YLC are building upon skills accrued in 2018, when NYCFC partnered with the NYU School of Professional Studies to provide a 10-week academic syllabus focused on the technical aspects of radio and audio podcasting, while strengthening participants’ listening, interviewing, and storytelling skills.
NYCFC’s Senior Director, Community Development, Paul Jeffries said: “Thanks to the partnership with NYU School of professional studies we were able to provide an academic and real-world experience for our young leaders to learn the technical aspects of radio broadcasting and audio podcasting.
“To see them now apply the skills they developed and create their own podcast is a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and leadership to create a platform to give young people a voice in social issues that affect them.”
“This podcast is all youth-led so everyone speaking on it, from the editors to the people brainstorming ideas,” said Quito, one of CITC’s Young Leaders. “In this first episode, we introduce ourselves and our background. Kwame is from Barbados, Kweku is from Ghana, Kimberly and Maria are from Mexico, Gwen is from El Salvador, and I’m from Ecuador. We have a very diverse group which in itself speaks volumes because it shows we have diverse perspectives.”
Through their new platform, the group will be discussing different topics every month, from challenges they face in their local everyday lives in NYC, to relevant topics around the world and in the news.
“What I enjoy about this is that we all learn from each other like we hear perspectives and stories that we’ve never heard before. It’s kind of like an educational experience,” said Hernandez. “We want to reach as many people as we can so they can learn from our stories and be more open-minded to new perspectives, understand the challenges that people go through, and maybe create some change.”
Driven by their goal of reaching the youth of New York City, the young leaders look to make a difference in at least one person’s life and encourage them to speak out through the new show.
“Our main goal isn’t to get thousands of people to listen to us. We just want to reach our communities and be a voice for people who are not heard and need guidance,” said Quito. “If we can do that, that would be more than enough. We’re not focused on numbers, we’re focused on getting our message out and hearing from people within our communities.”
Though the group is in charge of the show’s topics, editing, and hosting; they will be joined by King, who brings an adult's perspective to the group and provides them with support and guidance.
“I didn’t have this growing up, but giving these youths the tools to show the world that they aren’t just kids but people who voice matters is an amazing feeling,” he said.
Listen and subscribe to the first episode below to see what Soccer Bloc is all about and follow @CITC_NYC on Twitter to learn about new episodes.