SPOT 127, KJZZ’s youth media center, empowers Valley youth with digital media skills that are vital to today’s information economy.
We are an innovative educational outreach and dropout prevention initiative aimed at low-income and at-risk teenagers 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 production, audio production and social media. In addition to technical skills, our students gain developmental and life skills put them on a path to higher education and lifelong success. They also develop media literacy while honing their writing, presentation and critical-thinking skills. Students who complete our after-school program are eligible to apply for 10 full-ride scholarships to a Maricopa Community College.
We offer paid reporting internships for participants interested in journalism beginning at age 16. All 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 second 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 SPOT 127 graduates covers the total cost of attending any Maricopa Community College District college.