SPOT 127, KJZZ’s youth media center, empowers teens to find their voice and engage with their communities through photo, audio and video storytelling.
We are an innovative educational outreach initiative aimed at low-income and at-risk high school students ages 14-18 in the Phoenix area. Our free in-school and after-school programs and summer camps provide mentoring and instruction in multimedia production.
Our project-based curriculum offers hands-on training in digital photography, video and audio production and social media. In addition to technical skills, our students gain critical leadership and 21st-century career skills to put them on a path to higher education and lifelong success. They also develop media literacy competencies while honing their media creation and critical-thinking skills. We aim to inspire students to create multimedia pieces that shine a light on the issues facing their communities.
We offer paid internships for participants interested in multimedia journalism beginning at age 16. All student-produced stories are distributed on our website and on social media, and some are even featured on KJZZ 91.5 FM’s local news programming.
The History of SPOT 127
SPOT 127 was created through the collaboration of Friends of Public Radio Arizona, a 501(c)(3) organization, Rio Salado College and KJZZ 91.5 FM. The center is currently in its third year, but its roots reach back to 2007, when KJZZ piloted its Teen Radio Project. The program sent skilled journalists into local high schools to work with at-risk students.
In 2011, with the support of Rio Salado College and Friends of Public Radio Arizona, KJZZ expanded the project into SPOT 127. The youth media center opened its doors in West Phoenix in the summer of 2012 and now serves more than 300 students per year.
SPOT 127 created the Korva Coleman Excellence Awards in 2013 to recognize outstanding work from youth across the country. Today, the national awards honor young people who produce digital work in audio, video and online print. Winners receive a $1,000 college scholarship.
In April 2014, Carstens Family Funds established the Carstens Family Funds Scholarships. The generous scholarship for four SPOT 127 graduates covers the total cost of attending any school within the Maricopa Community College District.