Keenan Penn II

As the only student to attend three SRL summer academies, Keenan Penn II, is a bonafide SRL veteran. This spring, Keenan will graduate from Fraser High School in the greater Detroit area. SRL asked Keenan to reflect on how his experience as a student reporter shaped his high school experience and prepared him for the future.

What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL?

Some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences that I have been able to be blessed with through SRL would have to be the SRL Academies of 2015, 2016, and served as a student media correspondent in 2017. To be chosen and be taken seriously as a storyteller has only encouraged and inspired me, even more, to continue and perfect my craft. Not only this but the concept of me helping to inform others and contribute positivity to society while doing what I love.

What advice do you have for current SRL participants?

If there is advice that I could give to current SRL storytellers, it is to take and seek every opportunity attainable. High School doesn’t last forever, so leave the program being able to say that you gave it your all!!

How has being a student journalist helped you grow as an adult?

Starting off being a journalist at such a young age, being as sheltered as I was as a child, it gave me the exposure that prepared me and helped me grow into the man that I aspire to continue becoming. Thanks to this my mind has been opened to a wide range of possibilities and has helped lead me to everything that I have been blessed to have achieved in my high school career. This industry has turned what once was a narrow-minded boy into a more mature and thriving young man.

What are your plans after graduation?  How do you think your experience with SRL will help you as you transition out of high school?

My plans after graduation are to go off to college to major in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in communications, where I plan to eventually and preferably become a reporter, field producer, and documentarian for a news company; however, I am always willing to see what opportunities the Lord has in store for me. SRL has had a huge hand in molding me into who I’ve become. Everything that I’ve come to learn, all the relationships that I have built through the program are not things that will disappear once I graduate. These are things that will travel with me wherever I go.