warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Graduation Day L.A.: Students Facing Tough Choices On The Brink Of Adulthood

Contributors |
May 4, 2013 | 3:10 p.m. PDT

Graduation Day L.A. is a series of radio and multimedia profiles of high school students counting down the days until their graduation and making plans for the future. 

The series gives a glimpse into the lives of young people -- all on the brink of adulthood -- who face tough choices.  Graduation Day is a collaboration between KQED-FM's statewide newsmagazine, The California Report, USC Annenberg's Neon Tommy, and the students of Annenberg's radio documentary class. The nine stories will run weekly on The California Report’s weekend magazine show, beginning on May 4, 2013. They will feature robust digital content, including audio slideshows, photos and videos. Graduation Day series editors are KQED's Victoria Mauleón and USC's Sandy Tolan; digital content curated by Neon Tommy's Marc Cooper.

The Stories

May 4

When Coriah Welch was first placed in foster care, she was separated from her dad and young brothers. She got them back. But now she's worried about losing them again as she heads to college.

Meet her and the brothers in an audio slideshow.

Will she even make it into college? Find out in an audio report.

May 11

McKay Anderson is a senior at La Verne Lutheran High School. He’s the captain of the basketball squad and has always dreamed of playing in college.

But he had a huge decision to make when looking at the next few years of his life.

Learn more about him in a slideshow.

Meet the people who shaped his decision in an audio report.


May 25

Kenzie Givens, 18, is a gifted poet from the Crenshaw District in South L.A. who uses poetry to navigate questions of race and isolation.


Learn more about her in a slideshow.

Hear about her feelings of loneliness, self-acceptance and her differing identities in an audio report.



June 8

  Calder Katz, a senior of Venice High School has never been much of a school person, there is one class he has enjoyed immensely: the daily landscaping class.

Gardening has given Calder so much that, after his graduation in June, he will head to Sweden to work on an organic farm for three months. He is not in a hurry to continue his studies.

Learn more about him in a slideshow.

Hear about his future in an audio report



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.