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Series: Radio Diaries

  • In 1996, after 12 years living in the foster care system, Melissa Rodriguez recorded a diary about getting pregnant and becoming a mother. Now, her son Issaiah is a teenager, and she shares her teenage diary with him and reveals things about her past that she's never mentioned.
  • In 1996, Josh Cutler, who has Tourette's syndrome, documented his efforts to live a normal life. Josh overcame Tourette's enough to become a schoolteacher. But it hasn't been easy. His new diary examines his life with a brain that often betrays him.
  • Frankie Lewchuk was a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Years after graduating from high school, Frankie was back in the hometown paper, this time for drug-related crimes. Now, he's attempting to repair his life and his relationship with his family.
  • Juan came to the U.S. with his family, who crossed the Rio Grande illegally in 1992. He has made a life for himself in Colorado that might seem like the American dream: a house, a job, two cars, three kids. But he remains undocumented.
  • Amanda Brand is gay. Her family is Catholic, and when she was a teenager, her parents were convinced she was only going through a phase. Recently, Amanda sat down with her mother and father in Queens, N.Y., in the same house she grew up in, to revisit her tumultuous teen years.
  • NPR and Radio Diaries are looking for personal, surprising stories from teens. Write it, photograph it (and record it if you want) and submit it to the storytelling site Cowbird. Two entries will be picked to produce audio stories with Radio Diaries and a selection will be featured on NPR.org.