Welcome to P.S. Weekly, a new podcast from Chalkbeat and The Bell: Meet the students behind the mics

P.S. Weekly is a student-produced podcast that casts light on important issues in the nation's largest school system. The Bell's team of 11 student producers who come from different public high schools work alongside Chalkbeat NY's reporters to bring you stories, perspectives, and commentary you won't get anywhere else.

Get ready to hear the sounds of the New York City school system like never before.

Next week, Chalkbeat and The Bell are launching P.S. Weekly, a student-created podcast exploring the most pressing issues affecting students — and discussing possible solutions.

Episodes will come out Wednesday mornings this spring, starting March 27. Each will tackle a different topic: migrant students, book bans, career readiness, and more. Led by experienced executive producer JoAnn DeLuna, 11 high school interns are the show’s hosts, reporters, producers, and sound engineers. They’re leading its engagement efforts, designing social media posts, and writing episode summaries.

The show teaser is available below. Listeners can subscribe to P.S. Weekly on all major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

For the past 10 years, Chalkbeat has been a leading source of education reporting in the nation’s largest school system. The Bell came on the scene seven years ago, quickly becoming a premier provider of audio journalism internship programs for New York City public high school students from underrepresented backgrounds.

The partnership between the two organizations comes at a crucial time. A 2022 study found that about 1 in 4 New York City public high schools has a student newspaper or news site. For high-poverty schools, only 7% have one. The students who are least supported in the school system are the least likely to have platforms to share their stories.

Through The Bell, the podcast’s high school interns are paired up with Chalkbeat NY’s team of seasoned reporters and editors to create a series that will become a “must-listen” for students, educators, parents, and policymakers. The show will feature the latest education news, reports from the field, and thoughtful one-on-one conversations with students, educators, and experts.

Think of it as your hall pass to issues in the New York City public school system: access and perspectives you won’t get anywhere else.

And we want to hear from you. Tell us what you’d like to hear more about. Drop us a line at PSWeekly@chalkbeat.org.

Meet your new guides:

Three portraits of three individuals on a black background.
From left, Salma Baksh, a senior at Forest Hills High School, Bernie Carmona, a junior at The Beacon School, and Dorothy Ha, a senior at Stuyvesant High School. (Courtesy Images)

Salma Baksh, senior

Forest Hills High School, Queens

Salma is the editor-in-chief of the school paper The Beacon; co-founder of Youth Informed, a political discussion club; and co-president of Double Up, a peer mentoring club. When Salma isn’t writing emails, she continues her attempt to build a second brain.

Bernie Carmona, junior

The Beacon School, Manhattan

Bernie is an active member of the Bronx Documentary Center and Google’s Code Next Program, which is centered on computer science. When Bernie isn’t focusing on schoolwork, he’s often practicing the guitar, cooking, or photographing the streets of NYC.

Dorothy Ha, senior

Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan

Dorothy holds leadership roles in her school’s yearbook, theater, poetry club, and art history club. In her free time, Dorothy loves visiting art museums and solving crossword puzzles.

Three portraits of three individuals on a black background.
From left, Tanvir Kaur, a senior at Academy of American Studies, Shoaa Khan, a senior at Landmark High School, and Marcellino Melika, a junior at Francis Lewis High School. (Courtesy Images)

Tanvir Kaur, senior

Academy of American Studies, Queens

Tanvir is a student voice writer for The Academy Gazette, an editor and producer for the Bronx Documentary Center, and a member of the NYC Youth Journalism Coalition. Outside of the newsroom, Tanvir is an avid singer of Indian classical music and enjoys playing harmonium and mandolin.

Shoaa Khan, senior

Landmark High School, Manhattan

Shoaa is part of her school’s student government and volleyball team. She enjoys painting, watching movies, and trying new cafes with friends.

Marcellino Melika, junior

Francis Lewis High School, Queens

Marcellino began his journalistic work as a part of his school’s journalism academy. He spends his time on his school’s Science Olympiad team and playing cello in the orchestra. Marcellino also loves to help others through his efforts to give back.

Three portraits of three individuals on a black background.
From left, Santana Roach, a senior at Frederick Douglass Academy II, Jose Santana, a senior at Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School, and Christian Rojas Linares, a senior at University Neighborhood High School. (Courtesy Images)

Santana Roach, senior

Frederick Douglass Academy II, Manhattan

At school, Santana enjoys mentoring his peers, conversing and connecting with others, and striving to tackle intellectual challenges. Santana serves as a role model to many students through the extracurriculars he takes on and values the connections he cultivates with those around him. He also spends his time watching cartoons and talking with his friends and family.

Jose Santana, senior

Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School, Bronx

Jose serves as the president of his graduating class and leads the podcast/YouTube club in his school. Outside of school, he can usually be found reading a book, playing guitar or saxophone, shooting hoops, or messing around with tech.

Christian Rojas Linares, senior

University Neighborhood High School, Manhattan

Christian enjoys partaking in school events and using specialized AI technology to assist him with his assignments. He likes to listen to podcasts — including Science VS, The Daily, and many more.

Three portraits of three individuals on a black background.
From left, Sanaa Stokes, a junior at Professional Performing Arts School, Ava Stryker-Robbins, a senior at The Beacon School and JoAnn DeLuna the executive producer. (Courtesy Images)

Sanaa Stokes, junior

Professional Performing Arts School, Manhattan

At her school where she majors in drama, Sanaa participates in the Black Student Union, Global Glimpse, and is the vice president of the Women Advancement and Liberation Club. When she’s not learning her lines, she enjoys watching rom-com movies.

Ava Stryker-Robbins, senior

The Beacon School, Manhattan

Ava is the co-editor-in-chief of her school’s literary magazine, a reporter for the West Side Rag, and an organizer for the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Teen Activist Project. She’s an alumna of The Bell’s Summer Youth Podcast Academy and the City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth, orCLARIFY. Ava also loves to read, play classical guitar, and knit.

JoAnn DeLuna, executive producer

JoAnn is an award-winning bilingual journalist/audio producer and poet originally from Texas. She’s produced and managed podcasts for Sony and OTHERTone (Drapetomaniax: Unshackled History), Pushkin (WorkLife with Adam Grant & Am I Normal? With Mona Chalabi), and NPR (Latino USA, Radio Diaries, KALW). Before switching to audio, JoAnn was a print reporter covering the travel industry from Asia, Europe, and the Americas for more than a decade. She was also a crime and education reporter for newspapers on the US-Mexico border. Her English and Spanish poetry is published in anthologies in California, New York, and Texas.

P.S. Weekly is a collaboration between The Bell and Chalkbeat, made possible by generous support from The Pinkerton Foundation.