Three women wearing light green and gray shirts smile and pose together for a photo.

Red House producers visited a recent South Tampa Teen Leaders Club meeting to connect teens with the new youth-focused streaming channel, Youth News Network.

Teen Media Use

Today’s teens spend hours binging their favorite Netflix shows, scrolling through Instagram and studying the latest TikTok dance trend. Now more than ever, youth are consuming mass amounts of media. Stomp out Bullying reports that teens consume an average of nine hours of media daily.

The Tampa Y’s Teen Leaders groups are working to combat the media teens consume with hands-on service and volunteering opportunities while focusing on character and leadership development and forming relationships in a social environment.

One of the ways the Teen Leaders program exposes teens to positive new resources is through guest speaker presentations at their club meetings. Last month, Janay Jefferson, Associate Producer at Red House Streaming, shared their new online streaming channel – The Youth News Network – with Bob Sierra YMCA and South Tampa YMCA Teen Leaders.

Positive and Inclusive Media Network  

Youth News Network is a free online streaming channel for Generation Z, created by Generation Z. The platform is an all-inclusive community that encourages teens to share their thoughts and opinions on hot topics, show off their passions and share their stories. Through this platform, the Youth News Network hopes to provide a safe, positive and collaborative platform for teens to utilize in addition to the top social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Teens and young adults ages 13-23 can get involved by following the Youth News Network on social media at @watchynn, post and tag content with #watchynn or email video inquiries to

Supporting Teens Digitally and in Person

Genevieve Rodriguez, Tampa YMCA Center Call Lead (YES Center) and Bob Sierra Teen Leaders Advisor shares, “Negative social media is hurting teen self-confidence. Every teen needs at least one positive role model in their life who they can look up to and confide in. It is lifesaving!”

Genevieve knows teens are still learning daily and sees firsthand how they mimic people they admire. She believes it is the Leaders Club advisors’ responsibility to give them someone who represents the good in the world.

“Teen Leaders Club is so important because it allows teens to be vulnerable in a safe space. A place to talk about any positive or negative media they are consuming. Teens are able to take the weight of their day and let out frustrations through fitness and feel a sense of community through volunteering.”

If you or an organization you know is interested in speaking with Tampa YMCA Teen Leaders Club, please get in touch with the advisor at a location near you!

Published: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022