Raise Your Voice!

Credit Hamza Aden

We want to know what matters to young people today. We've all got an issue, a belief, an idea that drives us forward, something that really matters. Raise Your Voice! is Maine Public's online platform for ideas and perspectives from students across the state. We reach a broad audience interested in education, supporting young people, and especially, in hearing what today's youth have to say.

So whether it's a piece of journalism, an essay, photos, video, or audio, we want to share your work.

Write, shoot video, record and edit audio interviews, nearly anything goes. We want to hear from you!

To get started, contact Dave Boardman, our education program coordinator at dboardman@mainepublic.org or call or text him at 207-423-6934.

Credit Photo by imgix on Unsplash

And if you're a teacher and interested in working Raise Your Voice into your curriculum, reach out. We'd love to talk about ways to connect your students with our audiences.

Click the headline of each story to read the full text.

Proficiency-Based Learning Needs to Get Smart

May 16, 2019

When it comes to their individual education, a student should be able to direct it, so that they can do what best benefits them; this concept is not particularly new, but it certainly is not old. 

Coming Out Offers a Lesson in Supporting, Respecting Youth

Mar 4, 2019

Ever since the age of three, I have lived in Gorham, a small, rustic college town with a population of about seventeen-thousand. To most people, Gorham is a dainty, dreamy, idyllic suburbia. It’s vintage. It’s beautiful.

Photo Essay: Up All Night

Feb 16, 2019

Sometimes you find yourself in the library at 2 a.m. You’re hungry, tired, and still haven’t finished your math homework. There’s no motivation left to do anything but you know you still need to complete this homework if you want to preserve that GPA. 

Artist or Predator? It's Time to Look Beyond the Music

Feb 16, 2019

It goes without saying that nobody is perfect. 

People make mistakes, ranging in their severity. Artists are no exception to this. Recently, recording artists R. Kelly and Drake’s history of sexual misconduct have been unearthed. The media has even brought attention to these issues; a docuseries entitled “Surviving R. Kelly” was released by Lifetime, describing Kelly’s sexually abusive actions towards both minors and adults, and a video of Drake kissing and making inappropriate remarks towards a 17-year-old on stage when he was 23 is circulating the internet. 

Women's March Is Missing the Mark on Inclusivity

Jan 12, 2019

The Women’s March, in theory, should be a great way to bind together women of all backgrounds and enable opportunities for change. 

Founded and run by individuals angered by the state of the world and the state of our country, the marches attempt to form connections and excite people to the point of making change. It seems that these goals have been lost in the past two years, as marches are created and held, people seem to be worked up about issues important to them, and then…nothing happens.

Neighborhoods Lose When Short-Term Rentals Take Over

Jan 3, 2019

When I was growing up, my mom told me stories about borrowing eggs and sugar from our neighbor Marnie to then end up chatting the day away over tea. Neighborly exchanges like that used to be commonplace. However, as time goes on, those moments of comfort and communication are no longer a reality in some neighborhoods across the country. 

It is no surprise that my generation is generally very pessimistic about the state of the world, and disappointed by the people who made decisions before us. 

In America, sex in general is an extremely taboo topic. This makes rape an even more controversial subject. It is common knowledge that rape is a problem in our society, however, there are a lot more aspects to consider other than just morals. 

Maine Students Add to National Conversation on Democracy

Nov 9, 2018

What do young people think about voting? What issues would get them active in the decisions that determine the future of our country?

These are the kind of questions that politicians, strategists, and all kinds of people with an interest in democracy wrestle with all the time. And just before the Nov. 6 elections, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs challenged its more than 100 participating schools to report on those perspectives and share the thoughts of young people from across the country.

We Need to Change the Message to Solve Climate Change

Oct 24, 2018

As the debate over climate changes continues to unfold, progress to reach across the political divide has stagnated. Climate change has been stressed, fought over, and covered to such an extent that most people have begun to feel burnt out and hopeless. 

Luckily, the fight isn’t over yet. A Yale study shows that over 50 percent of Americans believe climate change is happening. In Maine specifically, over 65 percent believe it’s real. 

For years the climate has been a part of the global conversation; however, the public has gotten so used to hearing about climate change that for many, it has become an accepted issue. We know it’s happening and recognize that it’s too late to do anything to stop it, so the general population does nothing at all. That is a dangerous mindset.

Around 55 percent of the world lives in an urban area in 2018, and a United Nations study released in May estimates that will increase to around 68 percent by 2050. But the effort surrounding climate change is almost always based off of its impact on the glaciers in Antarctica or fish having to find a new habitat due to rising heat levels in the ocean. 

Maine Youth Fight for Environmental Protection

Oct 22, 2018

Growing up on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, Lucia Daranyi noticed the increase of trash and the snow still melting far into spring.  However, it was when her 6th grade science teacher focused her on the “big problems” that her passion for protecting the environment came out. 

Today, her big problem is the state government. Daranyi, 16, works with Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit, in her home state. She, along with several other youth, spoke to change a 2003 Maine law that entitles the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “sufficient to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate.” However the goals have not been met and as a youth activist, Datanyi doesn’t think Maine is doing enough. 

It's Time to Close the Pay Gap and Share Opportunity

Oct 22, 2018

We are separated from the day we are born. Some wear blue hats and some wear pink. It becomes natural for girls to play with dolls based on beauty while boys are encouraged to play with heroes. These stereotypes are planted in our heads from day one, and they are stereotypes that build the idea that women are inferior and do not deserve as much as men. Wage inequalities are a result of this idea of inferiority.

Unequal pay is widespread and it causes many issues. In the United States, women make 80 cents for every $1 a man makes. This is a huge deal; our world revolves around money. 

Plastic. It is everywhere. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, take a look around. Trash bins, plastic bags, balloons, storage tubs, cleaning sprays, Legos and other children’s toys. Still need some convincing?

A Libertarian Finds Common Ground with Black Lives Matter

Oct 20, 2018

I want to make something clear before I begin. I’m conservative. I disagree with a premise of the Black Lives Matter movement: that the police force in America is defined and corrupted by institutional racism.

Are there individual police officers who are racist? Yes, and this is totally unacceptable, but it doesn't mean that police are defined by it or that the system is currently set up to be racist toward minorities.