Students from Walter M. Williams High School were invited to come to the station and learn about college radio as part of a new community outreach program.
By Nicole Hawley ’21
WSOE, Elon’s student-run radio station, welcomed its first class of Young Alternatives to campus April 12. Seven students from Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington were chosen through an application process to come to the station and participate in a day of hands-on learning.
“I really wanted to focus on creating a project that fit our executive team’s shared goal of increasing community outreach,” said Brianna Nobles ’21, WSOE promotions director. “I thought that, with the public schools being so close, it would be a great opportunity to reach out.”
Nobles, the project’s point person, felt that allowing the students to see the inner workings of WSOE could potentially spark an interest in radio or communications, prompting the students to think about their options for future academic endeavors.
“We have these amazing resources here,” Nobles said. “It is really a waste if we don’t use them to help the community.”
Five of the station’s executive staff members led the students through an afternoon of interactive activities, including a Q&A about radio and podcast production and a crash course in branding and marketing. The students also had the chance to produce a brief segment on air.
At the conclusion of the afternoon, the executive staff was given encouraging feedback. The students were receptive to the activities in which they took part and expressed positive feelings about the program as a whole.
“One of the girls messaged me after the program and said, ‘I want to do radio now! What’s your major? Where would I go for something like this?’” Nobles said. “And that’s why I did this.”
The WSOE executive staff plans to continue this program during the fall semester and hopes to get other local high schools involved.
In addition to Nobles, Joseph Henry-Penrose ’20 (general manager), Erin Pattie ’21 (music director), Teddy Williams ’21 (productions director) and Nicole Hawley ’21 (social media and online content director) were on hand to assist the Williams High School students.