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Station manager Spencer Abersold had his doubts when an 11-year-old boy with a tech obsession approached him about being a DJ on Gig Harbor’s KGHP.
Then he put Truett Dupuis behind the control board .
“It was like watching Luke Skywalker climb into the cockpit of an x-wing fighter the first time.” Abersold said. “A total natural, he fired up the mikes, jumped onto the air and for the next hour test-drove our little radio station, firing off hit song after hit song. I could feel it: this kid was ready to blow up the death star.”
”I asked him, what’s your handle, dude? ‘Calvin Justice,’ he replied with a smile, ‘and my show’s going to be called Tech & Tunes. I’m going to talk about all the cool things that are being created thanks to people’s imaginations. I’m going to play great music, and I’m going to help people understand how their world is changing.’”
Abersold was sold. “You got Tuesdays, 5-6 — that’s DJ talk for, ‘you’re hired,’” he said
KGHP is a community FM station broadcasting from Peninsula High School. Truett’s show is called “Tech and Tunes,” and for this story we’ll call him by his air name, Calvin.
Now 12 and a seventh-grader at Kopachuck Middle School, Calvin has always been interested in media and passionate about sharing information about technology with anyone who will listen.
“I love to talk about new technology,” Calvin said. “Two of my favorite subjects are virtual reality and Tesla, so you’ll always hear news related to those things. I also talk about drones, self-driving cars, and anything else tech-related in the news. I play some great music in between segments, which gives me time to do research when people call into the station or message me over Facebook with questions.”
Calvin’s mom, Robyn Denson, couldn’t be more proud.
“Young people can do so much more than we often think, “ said. “They just need someone to believe in them and an opportunity. KGHP gave that to Calvin and treated him like any other adult DJ. This is totally his thing. He opens the station, he runs the board. I’m just his driver and occasionally I get to be a ‘mystery guest’ to ask questions that help those of us who are not so techy understand what he’s talking about!”
Abersold says his newest DJ is calm, focused and has vision.
“He came to KGHP, already having conquered the internet with his Youtube presence, infused with a desire and a passion to inform and entertain. By the time he turned 12 in May, my usual hesitations about maturity, inexperience, and ability to perform under pressure flew away like birds heading south.
“Eight weeks later, he’s a full-blown DJ, showing up, talking the Tech, rocking the tunes, having fun and smiling while he is working. It’s exciting just to watch him ease into the chair, take over from the Auto DJ, and transform from middle school student into host and star of his show. He’s Calvin Justice, DJ extraordinaire.”
You can tune in every Tuesday from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. and find out what topics Calvin Justice is talking about. KGHP broadcasts at 105.7, 89.9 and 89.3. and streams live on on KGHP.org.