The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment DC Radio platform presents the Café Radio Podcast, a collaboration with the Congressional Award Foundation and Eliot-Hine Middle School.

The 30-minute podcasts will air on Saturday mornings at 11:30am on DC Radio 96.3HD4, DCRADIO.GOV, on the DC Radio app for iPhone and Android, and Alexa. The podcast will also be available on-demand at DC Café Radio on SoundCloud and all major on-demand platforms.

These programs are intended to help guide DC students through the opportunities the Congressional Award program offers and provide information on how to explore CAF’s pathways to career goals. Through this program, listeners and the middle school students involved with the program will gain direct access to members of the CAF Board of Directors, staff and alumni, who will serve as speakers in this special podcast series. The podcast series will be moderated and produced by OCTFME in collaboration with 8th grade students at Eliot-Hine Middle School and facilitated by Mandrell Birks, video production instructor and creator of the Eliot-Hine Network, an in-school television and radio program run exclusively by students. The show will feature a host from CAF and one student host each show who participates in the Eliot-Hine media program, providing select students the opportunity to gain hosting skills and producing experience. The anchor/ host for the series will be CAF’s alumni selection, Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, Congressional Award Advisor. Dr. Hammonds currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

In addition, Eliot-Hine students will enroll in the Congressional Award program and set personally challenging goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Explorations. Upon completion of goals, students will earn Congressional Award certificates and medals to be presented by D. C. Congressional Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The podcast program is a part of CAF’s initiative to reach more students of color and make an impact in the DC community. Eliot-Hine will serve as a pilot for a plan to serve additional communities that include Detroit, Baltimore and Houston.

The program’s discussions, led by graduates of CAF, share knowledge with middle school students about how participating in the Congressional Award program — the country’s only foundation 100% funded by Congress — changed their lives and served as an invaluable tool for supporting students in educational and career building resources to catapult professional growth and careers.

Dr. MarTeze Hammonds
Mandrell Birks, Instructor, Eliot-Hine Middle School
Avery Gamble, Eliot-Hine Middle School
Ailee Johnson, Eliot-Hine Middle School
Lira Pinchotti, Eliot-Hine Middle School
Will Weedon, Eliot-Hine Middle School
Congressional Award medals

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