Do you feel your voice isn’t heard? Do you want to be understood better? The Family & Youth Institute invites you – elementary, middle and high school students – to share your unique experiences by participating in our first ever audio contest, “My Voice, My Life: What it’s like to be Young, Muslim, and American”. This contest aims to uplift your voices so that the adults around you can better support you. Read on for more details!

The Details

  • Length: Submissions should be 2-minutes long (+/- 15 seconds grace period will be given). Submissions that do not meet this requirement will not be reviewed.
  • Content: Submissions should detail experiences and stories from your life as a young Muslim American. Use the prompt questions on our website to help craft your story if you’re stuck for ideas. We’re looking for honesty and creativity in entries. Think outside the box to make your narrative unique for listeners!
  • Deadline: September 30th, 2018
  • Categories: Elementary school (grades 3-5; age 8-11), middle school (grades 6-8; ages 12-14), high school (grades 9-12; ages 14-18).
  • Submissions: To submit entries, complete this form. Clips can be directly uploaded here.
  • Awards*: First place winners in each category will receive a $300 cash prize. Second place will receive $200, and third place will receive $100.
  • Questions: Read through the FAQ section to get more information. Have other questions? Contact us at youthaudiocontest@thefyi.org.

Portions of audio clips will be formatted to create a short animated video that will be distributed by The FYI’s varying platforms and will help to highlight experiences of Muslim American Youth.

*To protect the identity of winners, we will only announce the winning clips, without including the name or location. This is to help ensure that audio clips are honest, without fear of identification.


Prompt Questions Overview

Contestants are encouraged to pull from their own experiences to help craft the audio clip. If you’re stuck, use the prompt questions below to help guide your story. You can choose to answer one question or mix and match from different questions. Keep in mind that we’re looking for personal narratives that are sincere, honest, and have a unique tone of voice. Your entry doesn’t have to be a happy or sad story- it just needs to be reflective of your experience. Ultimately, we’re looking to highlight the diverse experiences young Muslim Americans are facing so that those around you, including your parents, teachers, and community leaders, can hear you, see you, and learn to better understand you.

 

  • Tell us about the most positive experience you have had as a Muslim at school or in the community.
  • Tell us about the hardest experience you have had as a Muslim at school or in the community.
  • If you could tell your teacher three things about what it’s like for you to be Muslim in public school, what would you say? How do you think your teacher could help you as a Muslim American?
  • How do you think your friends could be better friends and support you as a Muslim?
  • What would make going to the masjid more enjoyable or exciting for you?
  • If you could change something about your family, what would you change?
  • What do your parents not know about the realities of your life?

  • Share one story you had that highlights what it means to be young, Muslim, and American.
  • If you had the opportunity to give the adults (parents, teachers, etc.) around you suggestions on how to be more helpful, supportive, or understanding, what would you ask them to say, do, or avoid?
  • If you could tell your teacher three things about what it’s like for you to be Muslim in public school, what would you say? How do you think your teacher could help you as a Muslim American?
  • How do you think your friends could be better friends and support you as a Muslim?
  • Your friends may be dating. How are you navigating your feelings of attractions?  What helps, what doesn't?
  • Your friends may be experimenting with alcohol, drugs, hookah, vaping, etc. How are you navigating this? What helps, what doesn't?
  • What would make going to the masjid more enjoyable/inviting/exciting for you?
  • How is your Muslim community supportive? How is it non supportive? What would you like to see more from the masjid to better meet your needs and interests?
  • If you could change something about your family, what would you change?
  • What do your parents not know about the realities of your life?

  • Share one story you had that highlights what it means to be young, Muslim, and American.
  • What do you wish the adults around you would do to help you?
  • When something happens in the news that involves Muslims, how do you feel? What do you do? What changes do you make at school or when you go out in public places (mall, movies, just hanging out)?
  • There is a lot to manage in high school (i.e. unwritten rules, adults expectations, attraction). What has been the hardest for you? How have you dealt with it?
  • Describe what school experiences are unique to you because of being Muslim?
  • How do you think your friends could be better friends and support you as a Muslim?
  • Your friends may be dating. How are you navigating your feelings of attractions?  What helps, what doesn't?
  • Your friends may be experimenting with alcohol, drugs, hookah, vaping, etc. How are you navigating this? What helps, what doesn't?
  • How is your Muslim community supportive? How is it non supportive? What would you like to see more from the mosque to better meet your needs and interests?
  • If you could change something about your family, what would you change?
  • What do your parents not know about the realities of your life?

Judging Criteria

All results will be final as judged by The FYI.

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

Content

Does the clip give the listener a glimpse into your life? Are the experiences real and authentic? Are the experiences fleshed out with details and use of senses so the listener can relate to your story?

Delivery

Is your audio quality clear?  Are words enunciated clearly?  Is your tone of voice appropriate for the story? Are you engaging for the audience?

Time

Is your submission at or near 2 minutes (+/- 15 seconds)?

Have a question? Visit our FAQ section!