Written by: Marcelita Haskins
Date: November 15, 2016

Classical 101 host Christopher Purdy (right) provides coaching in a recording studio for Braxton, one of three young adults on the autism spectrum that recently completed an internship at WOSU.

Classical 101 host Christopher Purdy (right) provides coaching in a recording studio for Braxton, one of three young adults on the autism spectrum that recently completed an internship at WOSU.

It was a unique opportunity—to work with young adults on the autism spectrum, as interns, at WOSU Public Media. Three departments were early investors in the project—TV Operations, TV Production and Classical 101. ASPIRATIONS, a trusted program at Ohio State, helped WOSU recruit interns Nick, Jason and Braxton.

Nick was an avid student to TV Operations Manager John Prosek and Studio Crew Chief Paul Peloquin. On his first day, he began to help with video duplication—copying and packaging DVDs for distribution. He quickly moved to linear and non-linear editing then jumped into responsibilities in studio and remote productions.

Jason gave valued assistance to producers—researching materials, verifying sources and looking for leads for emerging segments for Columbus Neighborhoods now reformatted as a weekly, prime-time, multi-segment program. His mentor, Producer Diana Bergemann, described Jason’s contribution.

“In his time at WOSU, he researched online resources, downloaded historic photos and catalogued each one… In addition to doing an exceptional job on all his given tasks, Jason completed each one with a positive attitude,” she said.

When Braxton came to interview for an internship, Classical 101 host and producer Christopher Purdy explained that the goal is to lead the intern toward the production of a 20 to 30-minute podcast on a subject of his choice. This involved all aspects of production, from researching the initial topic, to focusing on specific issues, booking guests, conducting interviews and working on the final edits.

During his internship, Braxton elected to focus his project on YouthMove Ohio, the local chapter of a national youth-led organization advocating to improve services for youth in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education and child welfare. Braxton is a peer mentor with YouthMove Ohio. He invited the director of the program and two of his peers for his radio project.

Christopher Purdy closely watched the process.

“I put Braxton through several hours of training on conducting both one-on-one interviews and working with group conversations,” Purdy said. “His guests were in the WOSU Studios on September 27. Ninety minutes of conversation was recorded. Braxton began tentatively. I was able to offer mic coaching and eventually he became comfortable and did a creditable job.”

Listen to Braxton’s edited radio production that focused on stories surrounding YouthMove Ohio.

YouthMove Ohio’s Objectives

Rebecca’s Story

Brian’s Story

Changes for the Better