CMF International

American teen shines a light from British radio station

If Larry and Debbie Kineman (Worcester, England) want to check in with their teenage daughter, Kirsten, on Tuesday nights, all they have to do is turn on their radio or computer to hear her broadcasting live from 8-9 p.m. on popular local youth radio station Youthcomm. Kirsten’s show is called The Lighthouse and is aimed at teens. She plays Christian music – her top favorites are Switchfoot, Sanctus Real, Needtobreathe and Tobymac – and talks about her life and friends from a studio located on the top floor of a youth center in Worcester. The whole show is her responsibility, from beginning to end. “I pick the music, write out the links and decide on features,” Kirsten says. “Then when I get on the air it’s just a matter of reading what I have written and playing the songs! Nothing much to it!” “The show is aimed at a youth audience,” she adds. “I try and make it seem upbeat and lively and get as much new Christian music as I can.” The show began about five years ago when a lady from the Kinemans’ church, Manor Park in Worcester, decided to start a Christian radio show on Youthcomm. Kirsten went on the show about three years ago to see what it was like, and ended up helping out every week. When Laura, the original host, moved away about a year and a half ago, Kirsten took over. Most of Kirsten’s friends think her unusual hobby is pretty cool, she says. “They listen when they can and text me to give them shout-outs on the air, which is fun to do.” Kirsten is currently in the British equivalent of her senior year in high school. Is there a serious radio career in her future? Like most kids her age, the talented teen is keeping her options open. “I haven’t really decided what I want to do after high school yet,” she says, “but radio is definitely a possibility! I have lots of other things I’m thinking about as well, like animation or graphic design.” Meanwhile, Kirsten keeps playing the music she loves and talking about life. “I know the station is pretty popular, but I have no idea who’s actually out there listening,” she laughs, “except my Grandma in America! She listens every week on her Internet radio.”