The Congressional Award Foundation (CAF) and The DC Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) Launch Season Two of Café Radio, a Youth-Led Radio Podcast Series.

The Podcast Series will be produced by OCTFME in collaboration with students from the Deanwood Radio Broadcast Youth Journalism Program.


The Congressional Award Foundation (CAF) and The DC Office of Cable Television Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) are pleased to present the second season of Café Radio Podcast, hosted this year in collaboration with the Deanwood Radio Broadcast Youth Journalism Program.


Like season one, the podcast features conversations between DC students and Congressional Award alumni, taking a deep dive into the personal and professional journeys of each former Awardee to examine how their experience with the Congressional Award program impacted their career pathways.   This season’s episodes will feature conversations relevant to youth development such as serving one’s community, overcoming challenges, and the importance of mentorship.


“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to continue our programming relationship with The Congressional Award and look forward to this podcast featuring the Deanwood Radio Broadcast Youth Journalism Program. This program and podcast series is designed to give these students real life experience with journalism and storytelling, while helping them develop and gain confidence in their abilities as well as engage with Alumni and young people across the Nation.” said Bruce Walker, Associate Director of Television and Entertainment at OCTFME. Walker also serves on The Congressional Award’s Advisory Board.


The Deanwood program was created in 2016 to educate young adults about the importance of broadcast journalism, while learning to advocate for their communities through media. The program serves over forty teens from Wards 7 & 8 in Washington, DC. The program’s director Salih Williams guided the students to serve as podcast hosts, teaching research practices, professional interview skills, and overall communications tactics.


The 30-minute episodes will air Saturday mornings at 11:30am beginning June 4, 2022 on DC Radio 96.3HD4, DCRADIO.GOV, on the DC Radio app for iPhone and Android, and Alexa. The podcasts will also be available on-demand at DC Café Radio on SoundCloud and all major on-demand platforms (Spotify + Apple). Six podcast episodes were developed for season 2.


Café Radio Podcast – Season 2:


Episode 1- Career Growth & Sustainability Practices with Bonnie Lei, CAF Gold Medalist, 2015

Head of Environmental Justice, Employee Engagement, and Ecosystems at Microsoft



Episode 2- Music Interests to Music Licensing with Bailey Ayers, CAF Gold Medalist, 2012

Senior Music Licensing Specialist for the Late-Night Group at NBC Universal, LLC


Episode 3- Continuing Service Beyond the Award with Christopher Merken, CAF Gold Medalist, 2013

Judicial Law Clerk at U.S. Court Appeals for the Third Circuit


Episode 4- Importance of Mentorship with Alexis G. Williams, CAF Gold Medalist 2017

Executive Assistant at Tech Company


Episode 5- Overcoming Challenges with Medhnaa Saran, CAF Gold Medalist 2021

Student at Pinnacle Academy, Founder of Touch of Life


Podcast 6– Discovering Your Own Path with Nikhil Kapoor, CAF Gold Medalist 2017

Student at Clarke University and Congressional Award Diversity Ambassador


About The Congressional Award Foundation

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23. To learn more about The Congressional Award please visit


About the Deanwood Radio Broadcast Youth Journalism Program

Since 2016, the program has sent 21 students to college to major in mass communications or broadcast journalism.  The program receives no funding and is run out of the Deanwood Recreation Center by the director, Salih Williams aka “Bootsy Vegas”.


In partnership with The Congressional Award Foundation, students will gain direct access to members of the Board of Directors, who will serve as mentors and guide the students through The Congressional Award program.  Students will set personally challenging goals in four program areas:  Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Explorations.  Upon completion of goals, students will earn Congressional Award Certificates and Medals to be presented by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton.


The mentorship program is a part of the CAF Board’s initiative to reach more students of color and make an impact in the DC community.  Deanwood will serve as a pilot for a plan to serve additional communities that include Detroit, Baltimore and Houston.


About the Office of Cable TV, Film, Music and Entertainment

The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) produces and broadcasts programming for the District of Columbia’s public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television channels, digital radio station and a recently launched streaming network, DCE; regulates the District of Columbia’s cable television service providers; provides customer service for cable subscribers; and supports a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market in the District of Columbia.


OCTFME operates and manages the District’s government television access channels: the District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), the District Knowledge Network (DKN) and the District of Columbia Entertainment (DCE) Network, streaming on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, iPhone and Android. OCTFME’s award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts, and entertainment. OCTFME manages and programs DC Radio 96.3 HD4 digital radio station, the District of Columbia’s first government radio station in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR. It is one of only two full-power, city-owned and managed radio stations in the country.


OCTFME provides production support services that advance film, television, video, entertainment, interactive, multimedia, and digital media content creators. These services include permitting, location scouting, production support, job placement assistance, workforce development, and the DC Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund. OCTFME supports the creative economy through Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative. 202Creates supports the creative economy by amplifying the creative community, providing resources to support creative workers and creative businesses, and building the creative community in all 8 Wards.


OCTFME provides additional support to the creative community through the Creative Affairs Office (CAO). CAO showcases and preserves the District of Columbia’s rich creative communities throughout all 8 Wards. CAO builds sustainability in the creative community through policy, programming, and education which further expands the pathway to the middle class for the creative workforce. CAO coordinates public, private, and community partners to accomplish all goals and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for the District’s creatives. For more information, contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment at (202) 671-0066, visit us online at:, and follow us on, and