by Karina Brady, Student Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University alumna Mandy Young has been promoted to program director for the national Air1 Radio Network. She is the first female program director for Air1 Radio since its beginning in 1986. Air1 is a 270-station network that reaches more than six million listeners in 44 states. It is the sister station to K-LOVE.
In Young’s new leadership role, she hopes to connect with other women and offer them hope. “In Christian radio, almost every single station is aimed at women, and yet the amount of women in leadership in radio is almost insignificant,” she said. Young also hopes to inspire other women in broadcasting to lead in their careers.
After graduating from Cedarville University with a broadcasting and digital media degree in 2000, Young had her heart set on a radio promotions director position. She never thought that she would be on air. “I had always kind of fought against what God wanted for my life,” Young said. Young began her career by recording commercials, moved her way up to hosting a morning show and even started her own voice-over company. When she joined Air1 in 2009 as a morning show co-host, Young began to develop confidence in her ability to lead.
Young still has a show on Air1 every day. “That’s important to me because I feel like I would lose touch if I lost that connection and relationship with my listeners,” she said.
— Mandy Young
According to Young, her biggest responsibility is offering hope to Air1 listeners. “People come to radio nowadays for the most part to get an escape, to feel hope fulfilled,” she said. “I want to make sure that we’re filling them with hope and filling them with encouragement and then challenging them, as well, to give that to other people.”
Young is familiar with the impact that Christian radio can have on a person’s life from her own experience in a grocery store parking lot. “I had been working all day and had to run errands at night. It was nine at night and I’m sitting in my car, and I hit my head on the steering wheel a bunch of times,” she said.
As she sat in her car, Young listened as Air1 played the song “Hard Love” by Needtobreathe. She heard the lyrics of the song say, “Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love.” “That moment I understood what it felt like to be a listener that connects with a song,” said Young. “In that moment, that song brought tears to my eyes because it was exactly what I needed to hear.
“To be able to know that’s a gift you can give somebody every single minute of the day, that’s amazing,” she continued. “I love every song that I put on Air1, but sometimes they stick out because they affect your life in such a profound way.”
She wants to encourage listeners at all points in their relationship with God to grow in their faith. “I want to create a place where people feel accepted, welcomed and loved. Creating a place for people to do that is really the heart of Air1 for me. So, every decision I make has to come through that funnel.”
According to Young, she was surprised to receive two promotions within the year, but she is thankful for God’s perfect timing. “I’m letting God direct me and lead me. He has guided me all the way here, and I’m going to continue to let him do that no matter where that takes me next,” she said.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.