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HomeEducationChalkbeat’s pupil fellows mirror on writing expertise

Chalkbeat’s pupil fellows mirror on writing expertise


This private essay sequence options tales by highschool college students collaborating in Chalkbeat’s fellowship program.

Final faculty 12 months, Chalkbeat launched its paid Pupil Voices Fellowship to provide teenagers a platform to share their tales about how their instructional experiences formed them. The impression of their work rippled past their communities, as main newspapers republished their essays, podcasts invited them on to talk, and their essays received journalism awards.

With purposes for the 2022-23 faculty 12 months now open to public faculty college students in New York and Newark, New Jersey, Chalkbeat wished to provide you an opportunity to listen to instantly from our first cohort of scholars. 

College students instructed me they joined the fellowship program to strengthen their writing expertise – to organize them for the whole lot from school essays to future careers – however additionally they realized use their tales and experiences to advocate for his or her communities and different college students. 

Right here’s what they needed to say. 

Some responses have been frivolously edited for readability.

Jeremiah Griffith

Rising senior at Noble Academy in Chicago

Teenage boy in a gray hoodie and wearing clear-rimmed glasses.

An aspiring journalist accustomed to writing from a extra goal place, Griffith mentioned the fellowship allowed him to include himself into the story as the principle character for the primary time. He mentioned: “It compelled me to have the ability to write about myself. I used to be capable of sit down and really suppose, and discover a area the place I might suppose deeply about what I wished to jot down about.”

Ajibola Junaid

Graduate of Wendell Phillips Academy Excessive College in Chicago; freshman on the College of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

After Junaid’s schoolmates learn her story, she mentioned extra college students turned snug voicing their opinions to directors to debate issues occurring of their faculty. “If I didn’t do what I did, the scholars in my faculty wouldn’t have the alternatives they at the moment have,” she mentioned.

Telling your story “it’s going to open doorways of alternatives for many individuals which can be coming after you. In respect of the circumstance or scenario, don’t be scared to voice your opinion since you’re not simply serving to your self, you’re serving to generations after you.” 

Focused on turning into a Chalkbeat Pupil Voices Fellow? Right here’s apply.

Chimdindu Okafor

Graduate of North Star Academy Lincoln Park Excessive College in Newark; freshman at Howard College in Washington, D.C.

“It was simply actually lovely. The entire expertise. Writing … put me in an area that I’ve by no means been in earlier than,” mentioned Okafor, who relished the creativity that the fellowship fostered.

“It allowed me to interrupt aside all the interactions that I’ve had with folks and all the various things which have gone on all through my days, attempting to actually assess: How did that make me really feel, and the way might that doubtlessly go right into a story that [gives people] perception into an expertise that they might not resonate with?”

Umme Orthy

Graduate of Pupil Management Academy at  Beeber in Philadelphia; freshman at Haverford Faculty in Haverford, Pennsylvania

Orthy, who immigrated from Bangladesh and speaks three languages, mentioned the fellowship helped her enhance her writing in English, telling me: “I really feel like I had a robust voice to share with others. I by no means thought that I might do this as a result of I by no means had the chance to do one thing like that.”

Daniela Palacios

Graduate of Science Park Excessive College in Newark; freshman at Columbia College

“Having some help is unquestionably actually vital when attempting to jot down any sort of story and ensuring that the message is delivered correctly,” mentioned Palacios. She mentioned the fellowship taught her create group impression by means of storytelling. “Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless actually vital that the precise factor that you just need to say, and even the way in which you need to say it, is true to who you might be and it’s true to what you worth. All the time know that your story is admittedly highly effective and it may possibly’t impression many individuals’s lives. Folks in your group and folks on the earth.” 

NEXT: Focused on turning into a Chalkbeat Pupil Voices Fellow? Right here’s apply.

Wish to hear extra? Right here’s what Chimdindu Okafor and Daniela Palacios needed to say about their fellowship experiences this previous 12 months throughout a Chalkbeat occasion on Instagram Dwell.



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