Eleven Long Island students from diverse backgrounds have been selected to participate in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s 2019 Hofstra High School Summer Journalism Institute, where they will report and write about their communities and learn about careers in media.
The students, who were selected on the basis of academic performance and a demonstrated interest in writing or storytelling, are all rising juniors or seniors from Elmont High School and Freeport High School. The weeklong immersive program will be held July 29 to August 3, and is funded by the nonprofit Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation.
“The Summer Journalism Institute helps students develop their voice so they can effectively tell the stories that matter to them,” said Scott Brinton, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations and executive editor at the Long Island-based Herald Community Newspapers. “Along the way, we hope to spark an interest in journalism. Newsrooms need professionals of all backgrounds so that many different viewpoints are covered.”
He and Assistant Professor Mario Gonzalez, a former videojournalist for Newsday, are the Summer Journalism Institute’s co-directors.
This year’s participants are:
Akinwale Agesin, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
Bernandine Baptiste, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
Roshanel Daley, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
Janice Erhunmwunsee, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
Jasmine Figueroa, junior, Freeport High School
Shania Gayle, senior, Freeport High School
Devin Johnson, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
Christianie Joseph, senior, Elmont Memorial High School
Kaori Mordan, senior, Freeport High School
Che’la Santiago, senior, Freeport High School
Swera Zeeshan-Majid, senior, Elmont Memorial High School
Students will learn the crafts of interviewing, research, writing, photography, and videography as they work on several assignments during the week. They will tour the Herald Community Papers’ editorial offices, as well as attend lectures by guest speakers including Michael Otterman, executive director of the Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation, as well as reporters and editors from local media outlets. Students will also meet with Herbert School Dean Mark Lukasiewicz, a veteran producer, journalist, and media executive.
The program is part of the Community Journalism Program, which pairs Hofstra graduate students as one-on-one mentors with students in Freeport High School’s newspaper club during the fall. Both initiatives help fulfill Hofstra’s mission to celebrate diversity and expose young people to college-level work and career opportunities.
Follow the students’ progress and see photos from last year’s program on the Institute’s Facebook page.