YOTA Month a Success in the Americas

Youth-operated amateur radio stations in the western hemisphere contribute 12,000+ QSOs to the worldwide special event celebrating youth in amateur radio during the month of December.

December YOTA Month 2019 was a great success in the Americas! Eighteen operators under the age of twenty five utilized special event callsigns to promote youth in amateur radio here in the Americas.

Here in the US, we reserved 4 1×1 special event callsigns: K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A (Y O T A). 15 youth operators across the US rotated these calls throughout December. They made 10,474 QSOs using SSB, CW, digital modes, and satellites. Some operators used the callsigns during contests such as CWops CWTs, Phone Fray, FT Roundup, and the RAC Winter contest.

We asked US operators for their favorite aspect of YOTA Month. Mason, KM4SII said, “Operating wise – it was definitely the pileups…I love a good pileup. Apart from that, it was great getting to be part of a group of youngsters that are all into the hobby. Even though we weren’t physically working together, we all got to be part of the YOTA program over the air.” Audrey, KM4BUN says “My favorite part of YOTA month was getting the wonderful experience of talking to other youth all over the world and sharing our experiences. Me and my brother both were wonderfully surprised every time we got a call back from a fellow youth who was eager and excited to be there. It gives us hope to know the future of Amateur Radio is in the hands of these great kids.”

In Canada, David VE7DZO signed VE7YOTA. He made 458 QSOs on CW. He said, “My favorite part was seeing all the YOTA stations on the air throughout December and seeing all the high energy youth activity.”

Mathias, CE2LR of Chile activated XR2YOTA. He even met another youth operator from Chile, Manu CA3MPR, through YOTA month. They made 1,535 QSOs on CW, SSB, and digital modes. Mathias said, “It was great to meet Manu CA3MPR and work many friends.”

Youth from the Americas had lots of fun spreading the word about youth in amateur radio and made 12,467 QSOs in the process. The event was a great prelude for the first ever camp to be hosted in the western hemisphere in June. Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO coordinated the efforts of the seventeen operators and the logs for the US stations. “I learned much in the during the month about the importance of teamwork and communication…just like baseball,” Bryant said about his role as coordinator. “I think YOTA month was a great success considering the short amount of time we had to plan this all out. I had a lot of fun operating this event, but it was even more rewarding to see other youth here in the Americas make tons of QSOs during December.” As part of his responsibilities, Bryant also managed Logbook of the World accounts for the US stations, the QRZ.com pages for all the callsigns, maintained an operator schedule, worked with YOTA month manager Tomi, HA8RT, and reported in to the YOTA camp committee in the Americas.

Globally, almost 129,000 contacts were logged using 48 callsigns, all operated by hams under the age of 26. 2,569 operators (both youth and non-youth) requested and received an award based on the number of YOTA contacts made as of January 14. Statistics are available at events.ham-yota.com.

Jack, KM4ZIA operates AO92 during a shift as K8Y from the McElroy home near Atlanta, GA, USA