Programme continues to impact youngsters
Each Wednesday at 4pm people in the Cayman Islands and around the world tune in – via radio or the Internet – to hear what’s on the minds of some of the sharpest of our next generation.
The Youth Flex show is broadcast weekly from the studio at Radio Cayman.
Young people produce the entire show, from choosing the topic of conversation to the music.
Last Wednesday, past and current members gathered to celebrate the 500th broadcast of Youth Flex.
James Myles, Youth Flex producer and Youth Services coordinator in the Youth Services Unit, said more than 76 young people had passed through the programme, with some still remaining in broadcast media to this day.
“We have had politicians and delegates from around the world on the show. Additionally, we’ve interviewed interesting people of our time such as Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. We’ve had fundraisers for athletes and raised funds for a bus for the Lighthouse School as well,” he said.
The Youth Flex show has been a platform for the youth of the Cayman Islands to express themselves and their views in a public forum for over the past 11 years. From music to modelling and a plethora of other interests, the show has been a rallying point for young people.
The show began when Mr. Myles joined the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was looking for a way to get information to young people and their parents.
“We decided radio would be the most effective way of getting information out. After three or four shows, the programme quickly became a youth empowerment vehicle, as it was indeed very empowering for them,” he said. He said that youngsters on Cayman Brac also play a role in the Youth Flex programmes.
“They call in every week from the Brac. The phone call is donated free by LIME. We used to do a live broadcast from the Brac; however, Hurricane Paloma damaged the infrastructure. Once we are able to do live broadcasts again, it will mean that we will also be able to take calls from the Brac, as opposed to simply being on a call from the Brac,” Mr. Myles said.
He said moving forward, it was hoped that Youth Flex would have its own column in the Caymanian Compass, which was a practice some years ago. The programme’s organisers said they are also interested in republishing a teen magazine, which they used to do as part of their public discourse.
“It is a youth driven programme. They choose the music and the topics. Many times they are so enthralled by the programme that they don’t want to leave,” Mr. Myles said. “The reactions at reunions is very unique because of the bonds that are created as a result of the unique experience they share here.”
The special guest for Youth Flex’s 500th show was Miss Teen Cayman Islands Nordania Stewart, who made her first public appearance since being sashed. The hosts for the current season are Brianna Moore, Shennique Seales, Tamiyah Ebanks, Aolani Watson and Henry Hill.
The participants and alumni of Youth Flex, some of whom are now in tertiary studies, also expressed thanks for the opportunity to share their opinions on a range of issues and venture in to the broadcast field. For many of them, communications has become a lasting interest, and a career option. Production of the show gives the hosts experience in choosing themes, conducting interviews and selecting appropriate music.
Since its launch on 26 September, 2001, The Flex has seen dozens of students take to the microphone each Wednesday from 4 to 5pm on Radio Cayman.
The weekly show is managed by the Youth Services Unit, with the cooperation of public and private high schools, the government radio station and private sponsors. It is now in its 32nd season.