In Student Podcast Challenge, kids speak on identity and honoring community : Up First What can middle and high school students teach us? What do they care about? And how do they observe their communities and themselves?

NPR's Student Podcast Challenge results are in. It's time to hear what the kids have to say.

Today on The Sunday Story, Ayesha Rascoe sits down with producers Janet Woojeong Lee and Lauren Migaki, who run the contest, to discuss the 2023 edition. We hear from Dylan McDonald of Massachusetts who's in the midst of a gender transition and from Jiah Hwang on the heartbreaking moment that reinvigorated her relationship with her sister. Amelia Hankinson brings us an ode to growing taller, and undocumented students talk about the way they see their lives now.

Visit our episode page for links to more podcasts featured in this episode.

The Sunday Story: The kids have something to say

The Sunday Story: The kids have something to say

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Georgianna McKenny, 17, the high school grand-prize winner in NPR's fifth-annual Student Podcast Challenge, with her English teacher, Thomas Easterling. Imani Khayyam for NPR hide caption

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Imani Khayyam for NPR

Georgianna McKenny, 17, the high school grand-prize winner in NPR's fifth-annual Student Podcast Challenge, with her English teacher, Thomas Easterling.

Imani Khayyam for NPR

What can middle and high school students teach us? What do they care about? And how do they observe their communities and themselves?

NPR's Student Podcast Challenge results are in. It's time to hear what the kids have to say.

Today on The Sunday Story, Ayesha Rascoe sits down with producers Janet Woojeong Lee and Lauren Migaki, who run the contest, to discuss the 2023 edition. We hear from Dylan McDonald of Massachusetts who's in the midst of a gender transition and from Jiah Hwang on the heartbreaking moment that reinvigorated her relationship with her sister. Amelia Hankinson brings us an ode to growing taller, and undocumented students talk about the way they see their lives now.

Here are the student podcasts you hear on the episode:

You can listen to the finalist entries here, the middle school winner here and the high school winner here.


NPR's Student Podcast Challenge is produced by Janet Woojeong Lee, with help from Lauren Migaki and Steve Drummond. Subscribe to the Student Podcast Challenge newsletter for the latest updates.

This episode of The Sunday Story was produced by Henry Hodde and Justine Yan, and edited by Jenny Schmidt. Our engineer was James Willetts.

We'd love to hear from you. Send us an email at TheSundayStory@npr.org.

Listen to Up First on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.