City Stories 2009

In the summer of 2009, Y-Press and Second Story hit the pavement on the city’s Eastside. Their goal was to create audio slideshows to tell the stories of the neighborhood through their eyes.

During the 10-day project, Y-Press journalists taught and coached elementary students in the fundamentals of journalism. Applying these new skills, the young reporters conducted interviews with neighborhood business owners, social service agencies’ staff and an area artist.

Max, from City Stories 2009 project from YPress & Sygiel Solutions

The Boner Center on 10th Street hosted the project and Y-Press and Second Story adult staff served as mentors. Each project team selected a theme — cultural, business and social services — and then brainstormed potential subjects for a first-person story.

Contact with interviewees was initiated by youth and the interviews and photos were the foundation for the audio slideshows.

Early in September, the young people will share their final products at a public presentation hosted by the East Washington Street Library.

The project was funded by the 2009 Summer Youth Program Fund’s SYPF partners.

Digital Profiles: A Unit of Study — Click here for more information, Digital Profiles Curriculum, Worksheets and PDF Attachments.

Jordan, from City Stories 2009 project from YPress & Sygiel Solutions


Y-Press’s mission: Y-Press is a diverse, youth-driven organization that develops leadership, civic engagement and critical thinking through journalism in a variety of media, providing a forum for local and global youths’ perspectives.

The Second Story mission: The Second Story is a creative writing program for youth in Greater Indianapolis. Through classroom exercises, after-school tutoring, and other special programs and events, The Second Story helps kids, ages 6 to 18, find joy in writing as they discover their voices, explore their world, and embrace a life of curiosity and self-expression. Focus is primarily Marion County and IPS.

Y-Press: To the general public, Y-Press is a youth-media organization based in downtown Indianapolis. It produces weekly stories for The Indianapolis Star (341,487 circulation), as well as for other media outlets. A youth-development organization first, its young reporters and editors can be seen about town in their blue shirts, holding tape recorders and clipboards as they interview subjects for their stories, all written from a youth perspective are held to a professional standard of content, presentation and accuracy.This past year, Y-Press has evolved into a multi-platform, youth-media organization with a variety of outlets serving both adults and youth, which include online, radio and print.

The Second Story: This organization is determined to help kids have a positive attitude about writing. Many studies show that young people dislike writing for a variety of reasons and this negative attitude towards the craft leads to poor performance as writers. We are working to change attitudes about writing by making it fun and rewarding by giving students more individual attention, producing tangilble products that others can see like publications and Web sites and letting kids have lots of choice in what projects they undertake and how they approach these projects.

Copyright 2009 Y-Press