This Teenage Life is not affiliated with This American Life, but of course, we are huge fans — inspired and grateful for their work!
This Teenage Life: About Us! from Molly Josephs
What we believe
With their originality, zest, and fresh perspectives, young people see old things in new ways. Rather than perpetuate the status quo, youth are often more committed to their values and to creating a just future. In school, young people are frequently considered consumers of information rather than producers of new knowledge. By contrast, we're creating a community where youth boldly express their identities, tastes, and interests through creative digital storytelling work, including through the podcast, This Teenage Life.
This Teenage Life (TTL) is a podcast about the ideas, stories, and unique perspectives of teenagers in the middle of their own growth as humans. The episodes that you’ll hear, and people you’ll meet, are meant to offer a a sense of connection. For us, it's a way to process what we feel and think.
It can be easy to think "I'm the only one with this issue," but hearing other young people share their experiences can normalize conversations around sensitive subjects and make the world feel less lonely, less big, and a little more loving. — Cloe Moreno, This Teenage Life artist and contributor
The Educational Approach
TTL supports young people in connecting with themselves, each other, and caring adults through meaningful conversations around personally relevant topics that are not traditionally explored in middle and high school classes. The podcast itself offers a model for how to have these kinds of conversations authentically, safely, and empathetically. Our discussion & activity guides provide support to help listeners engage in similar dialogues.
In our guides, made collaboratively by teens and educators, we provide journaling prompts, conversation norms, facilitation notes, and original activities that can lead to all kinds of storytelling projects— podcasts, writings, zines, multimedia projects, short films, etc.
Our educational resources and podcast are particularly well-suited towards helping educators build communities while meeting with students remotely.
In our own group, we've seen that our program can lead to the development of a tight-knit community greater mental health and wellbeing, increased confidence, and the growth of skills connected to active listening, empathy, self-awareness, storytelling, and the facilitation of challenging converstions. Furthermore, through the making of the podcast, young people develop capacities related to design thinking, audio editing, self and group management, writing professional emails to adults, project management, and executive functioning.
Who runs this?
This Teenage Life was founded and is run by a team of inspiring teenagers and an adult named Molly Josephs. They came together while Molly was working at a project-based high school called High Tech High in San Diego, California.
Molly has spent the past decade teaching middle and high school biology and computer science, and designing project-based curricula. Since studying biology at Brown University and school leadership at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, she’s worked in independent, public district, and public charter schools including High Tech High, The Dalton School, Codman Academy, and The Healey School. She also spent three years on a team working to start a new kind of in-district, project-based high school called Powderhouse Studios.