Youth-Voice Digital Literacy and Storytelling Institute

Every community contains a story waiting to be told

Enrollment is now open!

Applications are due July 15, 2023.

The Cohort is a program that will take place over nine Saturdays from July 29 to September 30, 2023. The program will run from 10 am to 4 pm. However, the program will not meet on Labor Day weekend (September 2).

To apply for the program, interested individuals should send their applications to the CAN TV Training Department either by email at or by mail to CAN TV Training Department, 1309 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60608.

Every community within every neighborhood contains storytelling networks which are the primary methods by which people gain the information they need to make their way through life.

These storytelling sources can be at the mega level (regional/national sources such as the Associated Press, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, WBEZ/Sun-Times, Fox News, Google, Facebook, TikTok, or the Chicago Tribune), the meso (local sources such as neighborhood newspapers or parent-teacher organizations), or the micro (including bulletin boards at the local grocery or even conversations over the backyard fence.) Research by the Annenberg School of Communication at USC and others has cited the breakdown of the meso and micro storytelling networks as a cause for the decrease in civic engagement in many communities.

Traditional journalism, current social media platforms, and legacy ethnic media cannot fulfill the racial equity sought by this next generation of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) media-making and story-telling leaders. Youth between the ages of 16 and 24 seek to create an individualized digital media strategy that amplifies their personal narrative and broadens their story-telling Distribution.

The Youth-Voice Digital Literacy and Storytelling Institute closes this generational divide through a 10-week out-of-school time program cohort, comprised of 10 students per cohort (150 students served annually) who professionally train in how to tell their story and make media. Specifically, the program elements include: 1) studio production, 2) field production, 3) editing, and 4) ideation, pre- and post-production, of a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly television program or limited series or documentary that will air on CAN TV cable channel 19 including broadcast and streaming via Roku, Firestick, and Apple+.

Frequently Asked Questions

YVDLS is facilitated by:

Jim Knightwright, CAN TV Training Manager. Jim manages all of the training programs at CAN TV. He holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from Illinois State University.

Karen Anderson, CAN TV Training Coordinator. Karen teaches media classes at CAN TV and holds a Master’s Degree in New Arts Journalism from the School of the Arts Institute

Eric Torres, Senior Training Coordinator. Eric teaches media classes and is a documentary producer. Eric’s Bachelor’s Degree is from New York University.