Interview: Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar on Her Work As Founder of Youth Magazine
Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar on her success as founder and editor of Youth Magazine and the challenges she's faced to get to where she is now.
For anybody who hasn’t had a chance to check it out, could you tell us what is Youth Mag, and what inspired you to start it?
Youth Mag is a monthly publication aimed at empowering young people to advocate for education, equality and the environment! One of our primary objectives is to provide a voice to the voiceless, and give a platform to all those who dare to dream. The lack of unbiased news platforms and the absence of freedom of speech and expression in media inspired me to start Youth Magazine. I think Youth Mag has helped to spark a lot of discussions on issues that weren’t necessarily being discussed before. It has also helped to foster a sense of community through words, which is really powerful.
Your sixth Issue is out now, which is an incredible accomplishment! Can you give our readers an insight into what’s in it?
Our latest issue, in my opinion, is one of our best. We had the honour of featuring activist Cora Laine Moynihan as our cover star, and the issue itself is full of great writing on feminism, mental health and so much more. We also featured our Young Person of the Month, Madi Kahn – an up-and-coming fashion influencer, as well as tons of information about current events, from the coup in Myanmar to COVID-19!
Today is really a golden age for youth-run zines and mags. There are so many amazing ones out there. Do you ever get inspiration from these other publications?
Yes, of course! Dimensions, Musings Magazine, Overachiever and Harness Magazine are some of my favourite youth-run magazines at the moment.
What has been your favourite experience in creating Youth Mag? Is there a particular interview or blog post that you did that you particularly enjoyed working on?
Our recent blog post on Schizophrenia is one of my favourite posts that we have ever put up! Layla Mikel Vilanueve wrote the article, and the way she describes her experience with schizophrenia is touching – because for a long time schizophrenia has been wrongly labelled by society as ‘dangerous.'
One of our magazine’s readers wrote to us a heartfelt message after the article was published. She thanked us and said that after reading the article, she helped gain a different perspective on schizophrenia – which she also suffers from. It’s beautiful the impact that raw storytelling and journalism can have.
And on the flipside, what has been the most challenging part of running Youth Mag?
For me, I think the most challenging part of running Youth Mag is managing it alongside high school and extra-curriculars. Being the founder and editor means you have to juggle a lot of tasks: keeping your team motivated and managing diverse aspects of the organization like publishing, editing, marketing, emails, etc., while balancing your student life and most importantly not letting it all take a toll on your health.
However, I think that working at Youth Magazine is like self-care itself. All of the tasks associated with it not only make me happy, but also make me feel empowered. Overall, it has been an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Finally, how can readers who are interested in Youth Mag get involved?
There are many ways to get involved with Youth Magazine. In fact, submissions for our next issue are open now! If you have essays, artwork, poems, or stories you want featured, check out the submit page on our website. We want to hear your most heart-touching work for this issue.
Another way to get involved with us is by becoming a part of our Ambassador program. If you are a young person, this is a great opportunity to be a part of our amazing team of purpose-driven folks!
BIOGRAPHY: Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar is a high school junior at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai. She is a writer, illustrator & public speaker, as well as the founder of Youth Magazine - an International youth-led monthly publication aimed at shedding light on the issues of the world.