STATEN ISLAND, NY – In a time when community news is more important than ever, reporters and editors at the Staten Island Advance / SILive.com are providing an opportunity to help develop young journalists
The Advance / SILive.com and Curtis High School, St. George, have partnered to create an e-mentor program designed to help young people explore the world of journalism, photography and social media.
“It is so rewarding for us to work with young people eager to explore the wonders of journalism and make a difference in their community, whether that community is their school, their neighborhood or their world,” said Brian Laline, executive editor of Advance /SILive.com.
One of the driving forces behind the collaboration is English and journalism teacher Cadence Turner – who also created the Curtis Journalism Program, in which students learn about news literacy, multi-platform products, videography, photography, print journalism and more to become citizen journalists.
Staff at the Advance / SILive.com have volunteered to act as mentors, paired with students based on their interests to work on a project they are passionate about.
Through the program, the students gain knowledge about journalism, the basics of reporting, photography, and social media. They will learn about topics such as story pitches, interviewing techniques, deadlines and more.
“I’m really excited about the e-mentor program with the Staten Island Advance,” Turner said. “To have professional journalists working directly with my students is amazing. When students work side-by-side with journalists, I think they will learn so much more than just working in a classroom. I also think it is a two-way street; I think the e-mentors will also learn from the next generation too! ”
Those at the Advance / SILive.com said they hope to provide an enjoyable, real-world experience to students through the partnership.
“The e-mentor program allows us to work with gifted young people who are truly interested in working with journalists to develop content they are passionate about,” said Community News Manager Cassy Sommer, who chairs the Advance / SILive.com Diversity Committee and has played a lead role in developing the partnership with Curtis.
And at the conclusion of the months-long partnership, students may have the opportunity to see their hard work published.
Here are the students participating in the program:
- Logan Barnes, 11th grade
- Alysa Grillo, 11th grade
- Amber Ann Houghtaling, 10th grade
- Kai Kwok, 10th grade
- Kristinay Love, 10th grade
- Akithma Moraes, 11th grade
- Omosefe Noruwa, 11th grade
- Joseph Schaffer, 10th grade
- Charlotte Togba, 10th grade
- Soojin Yoonsmith, 9th grade
Gail Lubin, content director at the Advance / SILive.com, said the school’s leadership is committed to a journalism program that is “steeped in excellence, built over decades by an exceptional educator,” adding that the Curtis journalism students are as passionate as they are smart.
“Their voices and ideas will add so much to our newsroom, and they are already poised to make an impact on the community through their writing, photos and videos,” Lubin said.
A Curtis alum herself, she added it’s thrilling to be back in the high school’s halls for the meaningful partnership.
“We could not be more excited about having Staten Island students from all backgrounds get a real taste of community journalism through our high school partnership program – and we could not ask for a better partner than Curtis High School to get the initiative started,” she said.
Laline also applauded the team at the Advance / SILive.com who have volunteered as mentors for the young journalists.
“They make a difference through their daily reporting, and now are making a difference as they offer their expertise, helping expand eager young minds,” Laline said.