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Brave Teen Transcends Transgender Discussion

We always talk in the communications field about the importance of good stories – and few people have a better story than Radioo Kennedy
June 30, 2014
I was lucky enough to talk with Radioo and help share Radioo’s story.
Bullied at a traditional public high school after coming out as a lesbian and then as a transgender teen, Radioo finally found a place at the Q High Learning Center (Q High) in Phoenix.
Q High is a blended program that partners with K12 Inc. – a national leader in online school programs for students in kindergarten through high school –  and an Arizona LGBTQ nonprofit called one n ten. Radioo was traveling more than two hours each way by bus to get to Q High, but Radioo did better in school and found friends and a future. It was here that Radioo finally found a home.

On May 30, Radioo became the first graduate of Q High.

Now Radioo is looking forward to making an impact outside of school. “I want to make a difference in my community and I wanted to thank you for giving me that opportunity,” Radioo told me after we arranged for some media interviews.
But Radioo already had made a difference.
Radioo was open and honest about what it was like to come out to kids at school: not being accepted, losing friends, getting beat up. Radioo’s story is an inspiration for other kids who may be going through the same thing – an example of how they can find a place where they can succeed.
New school options like online learning make it possible for kids to focus on what is most important – learning – without classroom drama and distractions. In Radioo’s own words, “Even if people you thought were friends are picking on you, or you’re getting bullied, always stick to your schoolwork, no matter what. Your education is what will get you out of there.”
I spent hours talking with Radioo on the phone to learn more about Radioo’s story and figure out the best way to share it. I worked with local and national media to explain Radioo’s situation and illustrate why it was so important for them to write about Radioo, the Q High Learning Center and the important partnership between K12 and one n ten.
Radioo Content
Radioo. Photo: Daniel Friedman/ Raising Arizona Kids

Interviewing Radioo and telling Radioo’s story brought me back to my days as a TV producer where I would talk with people and tell their stories. I’m glad my job still allows me to have conversations with interesting people and to turn them into powerful stories.
Sharing Radioo’s story allowed me to do that again. As a result of our outreach, Radioo was featured on several local news stations, an Arizona LGBT publication called Echo Magazine, in the Arizona Republic newspaper and in Raising Arizona Kids magazine.
How did I meet Radioo? We have been working with K12 Inc. to raise awareness about their schools, their teachers and their students. K12 provides online curricula, academic services and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs and families. Q High Learning Center is one of those blended school programs and there are few like it in the country. This is where Radioo found a home.
But most importantly, Radioo is going out into the world prepared and happy to be the person they are because of the Q High Learning Center and K12.

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