Davis Media Access (DMA) is pleased to announce that one of its youth participants has been selected as a finalist in the national Points of Light Foundation’s Youth Summit Pitch Contest, held Aug. 19, 2020. The Summit brought together youth aged 13-18 from across the country to reflect on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new school year and the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rohan Baxi, a 9th grade student from Da Vinci Junior High in Davis, CA pitched his project idea, “Timeout Radio: Building Teen Connection in a Time of Distance,” to the Foundation, and was selected as one of 10 finalists. The recognition comes with a $1,000 award to help further his project.
In his video pitch, Baxi described what he sees as a pressing need. “Teens can tell you a lot about disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cut off from school and its sports, activities, and peer interactions, they’re feeling isolated, stressed out, and uncertain about the future”. “I’m Rohan, a 9th grader from Davis, California. I am also a volunteer broadcaster at KDRT 95.7 FM, a community radio station in Davis, CA. I love sports, hanging out with my friends, and visiting new places. Sharing what I love on my show, ‘Timeout Radio’ — especially during this pandemic — helps me connect with people and learn new things.”
Baxi’s pitch proposed to deepen the experience by partnering with DMA to include programming from other teens, and their teachers and coaches. “Schools are not an island - especially not now. Youth participation in local radio bridges the gap to the larger community,” Baxi added. “I want to equip teens in Davis through participation in community radio, to share their voices, tell their stories, build community connections, and adjust to the new normal.”
Jeff Shaw, KDRT’s general manager, said the COVID-19 pandemic struck just as Baxi was about to launch his radio show. He had to learn how to remotely host the show from home using Audacity (open-source digital audio editor and recording software) and Zoom (online cloud-based video-conferencing software platform) and launched his show, “Timeout Radio” in June 2020. The 30-minute program airs on alternate Fridays at 5 pm. It can be heard online on https://kdrt.org and is archived for future listening at https://kdrt.org/program/timeout-radio
Davis Media Access (DMA) is Yolo County’s only nonprofit community media and technology organization, and empowering youth through access to tools and training is a major tenet of its mission. Low-power community radio station KDRT is a project of DMA, launched in 2004.