WKCD staff and consultants

Barbara Cervone is founder and president of What Kids Can Do, Inc and its nonprofit publishing arm, Next Generation Press. Previously, she coordinated Walter H. Annenberg’s $500 million “Challenge” to reform America’s schools—at the time the largest private initiative to reform public education in U.S. history—from its inception in January 1994 until June 2000.

From 1984 to 1993, Dr. Cervone served as associate director of the Rhode Island Foundation, one of the United States’ ten largest community foundations. She has been a consultant in program evaluation and an investigator for several national education research projects. She has contributed dozens of articles and book chapters about her work with youth and school reform, edited five photo essay books with youth as co-authors, and has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at conferences throughout the US. In the 1970's she started and oversaw a network of alternative high schools in eight states.

For the past six years, Dr. Cervone has also worked directly with you in China, Eastern Europe, England, Ethiopia, India, and Tanzania on media projects—videos, audio slideshows, blogs—through which youth document and comment on life around them, especially social issues that affect them deeply. In December 2008, Dr. Cervone received the prestigious “Purpose Prize” from the U.S.-based Civic Ventures. She has an M.A.T. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in Rhode Island.

Listen to Barbara Cervone's "This I Believe" essay for Rhode Island's public radio—about her lifelong belief in youth as changemakers.

Kathleen Cushman is a writer who has specialized in education and school reform for almost two decades. Her work has appeared in the Harvard Education Letter, Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, and many other national magazines. Cushman has been writer and editor of two school reform journals, Horace and Challenge Journal. She is the author or co-author of ten books, including Fires in the Mind (Jossey-Bass, 2010), First in the Family (Next Generation Press, 2005, 2006), Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students (New Press, 2003), Schooling for the Real World with Adria Steinberg and Rob Riordan (Jossey-Bass, 2000) and The Real Boys Workbook, with William S. Pollack (Random House, 2001). She lives in New York City.

Jay Douglas (webmaster) is a freelance web designer/webmaster living in New York City.

Montana Miller, an ethnographer and folklorist, specializes in youth culture in her position as Associate Professor in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is the author of "Playing Dead: Mock Trauma and Folk Drama in Staged High School Drunk Driving Tragedies" (Utah State University Press, 2012). Formerly a flying trapeze artist and professional high diver, Dr. Miller is currently one of the top competitive skydivers in the world and works as a tandem skydive instructor in Long Island, New York during the summer. She has a B.A. from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles. A lifelong news junkie, she provides the WKCD website with its “Kids on the Wire” items.

Abe Louise Young is a poet, journalist, and educator who specializes in teaching writing for social change. In 1997, she helped to start the Poetry Center at Smith College, which connects the work of the classroom with the world of living poets. After teaching English at Loyola University in Chicago and in several high schools, she discovered that facilitating creative writing projects with youth and people in challenged communities is her path. Since then, she has created writing circles in prisons, hospitals, homes, schools, and youth and community centers nationwide. Abe Louise Young lives in Austin, Texas. In 2011 she produced for WKCD Queer Youth Advice for Educators: How to Respect and Protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students.

Y-Press was a youth-led news bureau in Indianapolis, IN. From 2008 - 2012, WKCD partnered with youth journalists at YPress to produce a regular series of articles and stories that offered youth perspectives on a range of important issues. YPress journalists produced our 2008 series "Kids on the Campaign Trail" and our 2012 series on youth and the presidential election. YPress closed its doors in 2012.


AAA Foray (Sandra Delany), graphic design, Rehoboth, MA

Justin Samaha, audio consultant, New York, NY

Azure Osborn-Lee, transcription, New York, NY

Ben Pender-Culip, video consultant, Somerville, MA

Andrew Reed Weller and Andrew Beardswotth, photographers, New York, NY

Zoe Pappenheimer, video consultant, Northhampton, MA



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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator