Hometown Alaska: Teens talk about coping with COVID

Three students in front of yellow lockers
Former high school seniors Kayden King, Shaun Peter, and Thomas Phelan in Bethel. (Katie Basile/KYUK)

On this week’s Hometown Alaska, Anchorage teens describe how they have suffered, endured, and even grown through living under the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll hear from teens at the Alaska Teen Media Institute, Covenant House and MHATS, which stands for Mental Health Advocacy Through Storytelling, a student-founded and student-run non-profit in Anchorage.

ATMI students began creating a series called “Podcast in Place, Youth Stories from Quarantine” recorded in their own homes due to constraints under COVID. Topics include individual student reactions to school closings and uncertainty, to interviews with Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink, and a multi-generational family interview (grandparents, their daughter and their grandchildren) about coping with vaccination information and commitment.

Two Covenant House students talk about the emotional impact of isolation, and the loss of work due to restaurant closures during the pandemic.

The MHATS teens describe their commitment to better mental health education for young people in school, and their own ups and downs moving through the pandemic.

In all cases, these students were changed by the experience of living through COVID. They also represent an age group, according to the CDC, that has the lowest rate of vaccination and booster compliance.

This program was prerecorded for scheduling reasons, so the hosts won’t be taking your calls during the program. However, we still want to hear from you. Please call our 24/7 recorded line (550-8480) and tell us about your own experience. Were you hesitant to get vaccinated or boosted? What helped you overcome that hesitation?

This program is a part of Alaska Public Media’s “Talk to your Neighbor” project, offering trusted voices and accurate information to listeners on the Covid vaccination. APM has partnered with 20 community groups to help overcome vaccination hesitation.

HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy and Daisy Carter of ATMI


  • Caelan Voss, aka Peanut, Covenant House
  • Grace Margeson, Covenant House
  • Abby Laufer, MHATS
  • Ivy Marshall, MHATS
  • Tara Skidmore, MHATS
  • Daisy Carter, ATMI and Alaska Public Media, co-host and guest



  • Today’s program was prerecorded so hosts cannot take live calls. However, we still want to hear from you. Dial 550-8480 and leave a recorded message, 24/7.
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast.
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • Prerecorded Show will air: Monday, February 21, 2022 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, February 21, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

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