In 1990 during his 6th grade year at Shumway Elementary School in Chandler, Arizona, Andrew Malinksi was known as “Amazing AJ,” one of Kidstar Radio’s DJ’s. He also worked as an engineer, “cueing up records and tapes,” further explaining, that there were “no CDs at that time!” When asked what motivated him to join Kidstar Radio, he said that having the opportunity to be on the radio was “right up my alley” because he was always a performer and he liked knowing that he might get to meet some celebrities.
When ask to share a memory of a particular experience from working at Kidstar that really boosted his self-esteem and confidence. Andrew offered, “A handful of us had the opportunity to attend a celebrity tennis classic in Tucson. We interviewed various celebrities from Beau Bridges to Jonathan Brandis on the spot, on our feet, setting up and recording at the spur of the moment if we could get in contact with a celebrity. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many celebrities and having to think fast was a terrific opportunity.”
Although at the time Kidstar Radio was only available for 6th graders, Andrew only spent one year as a DJ and engineer. However, he had the fortunate opportunity to be called back to work for Kidstar in the summer of 1992, to go to a Garth Brooks press conference.
In 2002, Andrew received a BS Ed. in Secondary English Education from Northern Arizona University. Today, at age 36 years old, he is employed by the University of Northern Colorado where he holds the position of Library Catalog Technician and Government Specialist. When asked about the impact his experience with Kidstar Radio had on his life as he went through high school, college and then into the profession working world, Andrew said that he was “always very confident with public speaking, being creative and working in a team.” He also sought out “opportunities to be a leader and teach leadership skills to others.” He said that being a part of Kidstar Radio as a young student “always made for great story in the icebreaker gamer,” such as when he would ask others to guess which fact about his life was not true. Many couldn’t believe that he was once a radio D.J.
Andrew said that being a member of Kidstar radio gave him the confidence he needed to further explore public speaking opportunities as he grew older. He would like young students of today to know that being a part of Kidstar Radio is an amazing opportunity. He added that it is fun and teaches young people about teamwork and leadership. It also strengthens a student’s speaking skills. Andrew shared one final thought about his experiences working at Kidstar Radio. He said, “It remains one of my favorite memories of my upbringing and gives me many stories to share with my own children of when dad was on the radio!”