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Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence

Growing Up Baltimore

Growing Up BaltimoreIn 2008, the WYPR’s news department and the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence decided to start a series to focus on what life was like for Baltimore’s at-risk youth. The reasons were simple: The first was the number of violent crimes involving juveniles, including the murder of former City Councilman Kenneth Harris in September 2008. The second was the huge high school dropout rate in Baltimore City Public Schools. And the third was the growing number of community groups, churches and activists involved in day-to-day efforts aimed at saving the city’s most vulnerable children from lives of hopelessness, despair, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, unemployment and death. This series, Growing Up Baltimore, is an attempt to tell the stories behind the statistics, as well as provide content and examine the nuances [source: WYPR]

To listen to individual stories from Growing Up Baltimore, click on one of the following audio links below.


War ZoneWYPR 88.1 FM | Jan 22, 2010
Growing Up Baltimore -"Crime and Punishment"
The Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center — known locally as Baby Booking — opened in 2003.  An entire city block that houses one stop shopping for delinquent minors from all over the city.  Every month, some 7 or 8 hundred kids come thru these doors.  Most are released to a parent within 24 hours.  The rest, about 50…stay for anywhere from a few days to a few months. We’re in the Detention Hallway starting from the intake. Our guide is a16-year old we’ll call Michael…who’s here on a drug charge.

nohelpWYPR 88.1 FM | Jan 19, 2010
Growing Up Baltimore -"Local Youth Battling Unforgiving Economic Factors"
For many young Baltimoreans, the immediate future is bleak. According to the latest data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national unemployment rate for young black men is about 35 percent – more than three times the nation’s overall rate. For those 16 to 19, it’s nearly 50 percent. Many prepare to enter adulthood without a high school diplomacy, and have difficulty reading and writing. Many have criminal records. In this installment of “Growing Up Baltimore,” WYPR’s Sunni Khalid reports on the economic prospects facing many of the city’s young people.

fathersWYPR 88.1 FM | Jan 15, 2010
Growing Up Baltimore -"Fathers"
Since 1980, the total number of families in Baltimore has dropped from about 190-thousand families to 126-thousand.  Over the same period, married couples with children 18-years-old and younger have also declined from about 51-thousand to 21-thousand. That’s compared to the nearly 80-thousand families with non-married parents and single-female headed households who had childen 18-and-under in 1980.  WYPR’s Sunni Khalid filed this report on the impact of youngsters being raised without their fathers.

concretejungleWYPR 88.1 FM | Dec 17, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore -"Concrete Jungle"
As part of our series, “Growing Up Baltimore,” we’ve featured the artistic work of some of our talented young people. WYPR recently hosted a “Youth Radio Workshop,” where junior high school and high school students wrote and produced essays, spoken word and, in this case, a scene from a school play. Our news producer, Mary Rose Madden, brought two young actors from the Lake Clifton High School campus into the studio to re-create a scene from “Concrete Jungle.”

War ZoneWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 20, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore -"War Zones"
One of the challenges for the youth of Baltimore is getting to and from school every day. It’s been years since the Baltimore City School system stopped using traditional yellow buses to transport middle and High School students. That means, each day about 33,000 students can either walk or use public transportation. And, as WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden reports, it can be a harrowing journey.

MicWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 20, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore - "The Life I Want" by Ronald Betters
All this month and next, WYPR News is focusing on the challenges facing many young people in Baltimore. We invited 8th graders from the city to come into our studios to let us know what their goals are for the future, and their plans to achieve them.  Ronald Betters is an aspiring rapper and an 8th grader at Cristo Rey Jesuit School. He stopped by WYPR’s studios and recorded this piece as part of our news series “Growing Up Baltimore.”

trappingWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 19, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore - "Trapping" A Dangerous Path for Many Local Youth
In the quiet sanctuary of a small Park Heights church,three teenagers are taking a break from their work — selling heroin and crack cocaine to an endless stream of customers.  They’ve agreed to meet in the church – neutral ground – and leave whatever “beefs” they have with each other outside the main door. All three spoke to WYPR under the condition that their actual names not be used.

micWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 19, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore - "The Dreamer" by Kayla Vaughn
All this month and next, WYPR News is focusing on the challenges facing many young people in Baltimore. We invited 8th graders from the city to come into our studios to let us know what their goals are for the future, and their plans to achieve them. Kayla Vaughn is an 8th grader.  She stopped by WYPR’s studios and recorded this piece as part of our news series “Growing Up Baltimore.”

BlameWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 18, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore - Who's to Blame
Ivy (Mother of 4)  / “I lived in this neighborhood all my life, and none of this drug traffic and all these gangs  – wasn’t none of these stuff around when I was growing up.  Now you gotta worry about your kids getting shot.  Two summers ago, people got shot right across the street from our house.  His father got killed right across the street from our house.  Yeah, it’s really bad up here.”
Tameka (Mom) / “You have these young girls who they believe anything a man tells them out here – because they don’t have their father.    They never had their father to be there and give them what they want as a girl.  They depend on these men to get it and more than likely the men end up beating on them and taking advantage of them. Why? Because they need ‘em. It’s sad.  But it’s true.”

Econ Decline Part IIIWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 12, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore -  Baltimore's Economic Decline Part III
What employment opportunities are out there for younger Baltimoreans, especially those with criminal records but without high school diploma, skills and job experience? In this installment of “Growing Up Baltimore,” WYPR’s Sunni Khalid takes a look at economic opportunities for teenagers and young adults in the city.

Econ Decline Part IIWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 11, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore -  Baltimore's Economic Decline Part II
They are usually forgotten, but they are not unseen. Groups of young, able-bodied African-American men, mill on countless Baltimore street corners, forming part of a familiar, constantly moving tableau in many neighborhoods. Our series, “Growing Up Baltimore,” continues with WYPR’s Sunni Khalid reporting on the inability of many local teenagers at-risk to find jobs and the alternatives they face in trying to survive.

Econ Decline Part IWYPR 88.1 FM | Nov 10, 2009
Growing Up Baltimore -  Baltimore's Economic Decline Part I: Fewer Opportunities for City Youth
This month on WYPR News, we’re focusing on the city’s youth – many of whom are facing greater challenges than at any other point in the city’s history. Young people are told – stay in school, stay off the streets, stay out of trouble – and the future is yours. But, implicit in that is the promise that they’ll be able to get decent jobs and contribute to society. In this installment of “Growing Up Baltimore,” WYPR’s Sunni Khalid reports on the economic outlook for Baltimore’s children.

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