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CNN Student News Transcript: March 20, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Examine the impact of unemployment on some young workers
  • Hear how a college student's business aims to give back
  • Honor achievements from famous women during this decade
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(CNN Student News) -- March 20, 2009

Quick Guide

Young and Jobless - Examine the impact of unemployment on some young workers.

Young Biz Wiz - Hear how a college student's business aims to give back.

Women's History Month - Honor achievements from famous women during this decade.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Wrapping up your school week, I'm Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News.

First Up: Vote on Bonus Bill

AZUZ: First up, the House of Representatives passes a bill aimed at getting back bonuses paid with taxpayer money. This legislation would tax 90% of bonus payments for employees with incomes over a quarter million dollars, and that's if their companies got more than $5 billion in government bailout funds. The House passed the bill 328-93, with many Democrats voting for it. Republicans were split on the issue. House Minority Leader John Boehner called the legislation "a political charade" that is full of loopholes.

Young and Jobless

Downloadable Maps

AZUZ: Now, if you were with us yesterday, you know that a new CNN poll shows that unemployment is the biggest economic concern for Americans these days. Last week, 646,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims, and one expert thinks this statistic is just going to keep going up through next year. Jason Carroll examines the impact of this trend on some younger members of the workforce.


JASON CARROLL, CNN REPORTER: Less than a week ago, Marc Staniford was busy at work as a market researcher. That was then.

MARC STANIFORD, YOUNG AND UNEMPLOYED: They cut about 90 people, and I was one of them.

CARROLL: At 27 years old, he found himself jobless and with few options.

STANIFORD: With severance, I have about a month of that, and then I'm planning to be on unemployment after that.

CARROLL: Torrie Pagos may be joining him very soon.

TORRIE PAGOS, SOON TO BE UNEMPLOYED: I'd like to get a job, but I'm sure you're aware, its not easy.

CARROLL: The 23 year old had just started a career in merchandising at Macy's, a career that may be stalled.

PAGOS: In February, the company laid off 7,000 employees and my job was eliminated, so I'm done probably by the end of June.

CARROLL: Both are examples of who may be hardest hit during the economic downturn. The highest number of unemployed are the country's young workers. Nearly 3.7 million young people, ages 16 through 29, are currently out of work. The February unemployment rate for youngest workers is 15.5%, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 8.1%.

BRENT RASMUSSEN, COO, CAREERBUILDER.COM: The job market is tougher than it's been in the past, probably tougher than it's been in the last 20 years, quite frankly, for college graduates right now. They don't have the experience that many workers have in the market today.

CARROLL: Career experts say in some cases, older employees who have experience and who would normally retire during strong economic times are delaying retirement, leaving less openings for new workers.

RASMUSSEN: Don't spam the employment community. Make sure every single cover letter and resume is customized. Make sure you get involved.

CARROLL: Both Marc Staniford and Torrie Pagos are staying positive about finding a new job.

PAGOS: I'm optimisitc about it, but that might be a little naive. I haven't been jaded enough.

CARROLL: If it doesn't work out, both say they just might go back to school.

CARROLL: Do you think maybe if you were to go to school, that might give you that sort of buffer period of time until the economy corrects itself

STANIFORD: Yes, that's the hope.

CARROLL: The current jobless situation with young people can have dire implications for the country's future, because those young men and women who stay unemployed for long periods of time lose valuable experience and training they would have gained by working. It then becomes very difficult to make up that ground. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


Young Biz Wiz

AZUZ: One unemployment solution for young workers: make your own job! That's what Trent suggested on our blog, and it's exactly what Ben Lewis did. The college student started his own business, but he's not looking to make money just for himself. Jim Acosta explains the benefits behind Ben's product.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN REPORTER: He looks like an intern pitching the latest product from corporate America. But Ben Lewis is selling his own brand of bottled water that doesn't come in different flavors, it comes in different causes.

BEN LEWIS, ENTREPRENEUR: Our whole selling point is that it's not about the water. It's about the movement.

ACOSTA: A dime from each bottle of Give goes to charity. Orange helps the fight against muscular disorders; pink is for breast cancer research; green goes to the environment; blue: children with AIDS. Did we mention Ben is still a sophomore in college at Penn?

ACOSTA: How did that happen?

LEWIS: We started making deliveries out of the back of my car with a few good friends of mine, and it really just expanded.

ACOSTA: Now, he's got a bottling plant supplying ten retail chains, including Whole Foods, and he's raised $75,000 for his charities, which you could say are drinking it up.

DANA RICHARDSON HERON, SUSAN G. KOMEN FOUNDATION: If you have the choice to buy water that's going to benefit a corporation versus water that's going to benefit an organization, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, I think you'll choose Ben's water.

ACOSTA: After all the carnage on Wall Street, investors are craving new ideas from new faces. It was only a decade ago when Google was founded by two college students working out of a garage. Is Ben on to something? His roommate Greg thinks so.

GREG VAN, BEN'S ROOMMATE: We need more Google guys. We need more Facebook guys. We need more Bens. And hopefully, America will still be at the top of its game.

ACOSTA: But Ben's got a ways to go. He only has four employees and has yet to turn a profit.

ACOSTA: There's a little extra in there for pizza money?

LEWIS: Hopefully at the end of the day, yeah.

ACOSTA: Ben Lewis remembers how he started out selling lemonade, so he knows what to do when the economy hands you lemons.

LEWIS: I think it's a great time for an entrepreneur to start a business. I think if you have a good idea and the passion, a unique concept and really, the energy behind it.

ACOSTA: You can make it happen?

LEWIS: You can make it happen.


iReport Promo

AZUZ: You've seen how we use blog comments on our show. We want your ideas in an iReport! We're looking for suggestions on how to stand out when you're trying to get a summer job. You can find out how to submit your iReports at And just to sweeten the deal, the first iReport that we use on CNN Student News, we'll dedicate our next Shoutout to that person's class.


MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Ms. Vig's and Mr. Campbell's classes at Glen Burnie High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Match the following female leaders with the countries they lead: A) Angela Merkel, B) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, C) Tarja Halonen. And the countries: 1) Liberia, 2) Finland, 3) Germany. We'll give you five seconds -- GO! Merkel leads Germany, Johnson Sirleaf leads Liberia, and Halonen leads Finland. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Women's History Month

AZUZ: One of those women is the first female ever elected president, not just of her country, but on her entire continent! The milestone came during this very decade, and that's the time period we're focusing on in this week's Women's History Month report.


MARIA BOYNTON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: With eight titles and more than 1,000 career wins, Tennesse's Pat Summitt is the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history! Three years ago, the Lady Vols' longtime leader became the first women's basketball coach to earn a million-dollar-plus salary. In 2000, Summitt was enshrined in the Basketball Hall Of Fame.

Patricia Russo shot to the top of the telecommunications industry after beginning her career at IBM and then moving to AT&T. In 1996, she helped launch Lucent Technologies, and under her leadership, the company merged with Alcatel in 2006, creating the world's first global telecommunications corporation. In 2003, Russo was appointed by President George W. Bush as vice chairwoman of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to the field of communications. She got her start in the '70s in Nashville, Tennessee on radio, then became that city's first black TV correspondent, moved to Baltimore as a news anchor and later began her career as a talk show host. It was then on to Chicago in 1984, where turned a local TV talk show into a mega-national hit: "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She next became the first black woman to own her own production company, "Harpo," and also has made her influence felt as a philanthropist for worthy causes. In 2003, she became the first African-American woman to make Forbes Magazine's list of American billionaires.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is president of Liberia, Africa's first and only female president. A former Liberian finance minister, Johnson Sirleaf held prominent positions at Citicorp, the World Bank and the United Nations before she first ran for president in 1997, finishing second in a field of 14. Eight years later, she claimed victory and took office in January 2006.

Honoring achievments from the 21st century this Women's History Month.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, a competition that really takes the cheese, about 1300 of them! That's because this is the U.S. Cheese Championship. These judges may look like they're being feta, but it's their job to separate the gouda from the great. And they brie-ng their expert tastebuds to the test. No one really bleu it. But at the end of the day, John Griffiths took home top prize for his muenster entry: a nearly perfect parmesan.



AZUZ: The idea of a cheesy pun occurred to us, but we thought that might be in bad taste. You guys have a great weekend. I'm Carl Azuz.

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