New Series from Student Reporting Labs tells stories of youth-driven civic engagement

Student Reporting Labs presents Power In Numbers, a collection of student-produced stories that captures the different ways in which young people are actively organizing to effect change in their communities. The series reflects the emerging youth voice that has moved front and center in national conversations about school safety and gun violence, and has the potential to influence voter turnout in the 2018 elections.

Teen reporters across the country were challenged to find issues in their community that are inspiring change, large and small. These movements vary, but at their core they are about the power of individuals working together towards a common goal.

Several of the stories in this series document the national student walkouts that took place following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. One piece, produced by student journalists from Northview High School in Covina, California followed youth of color from Chicago and Baltimore at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. Chicago native, Diamond Oscasio, 16, said, “I’m hoping that the government sees that there’s a lot of youth out here angry. We know our facts, we’re doing our research And we will keep standing up for we believe until what we believe is comes true.”

Other pieces tell unique stories of youth civic engagement that manifests differently in every community. Westwood High School in Austin, Texas produced a story on 10-year-old Jasiah Brown who founded a food pantry called Food From the Heart of J. Jasiah underscores that people can help their communities by, “bringing awareness to challenges that others or themselves may have.”

Shantae, a member of the Youth Court in Newark, New Jersey, part of the Center for Court Innovation, was interviewed by student journalists from Philip’s Academy Charter School about her experience with alternative programs to incarceration. “This experience has definitely changed me because it’s definitely shown me that there’s another side to this world and that everybody is meant to be heard.”

The diversity of pieces demonstrates how young people in America are finding different channels of civic engagement to bring their hopes and visions for their future into reality.

Featured Student Reporting Labs:

  • Aldine High School, Houston, Tx.
  • Anacortes High School, Anacortes, Wa.
  • Black River Falls High School, Black River Falls, Wi.
  • Entrada Draper Campus, Sandy, Ut.
  • Canyon High School, Santa Clarita, Ca.
  • Cape May County Technical High School, Cape May, Nj.
  • Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, Fl.
  • Cody High School, Cody, WY
  • Dominion High School, Sterling, Va.
  • Fort Mill High School, Fort Mill, Sc.
  • Fraser High School, Fraser, Michigan
  • Frederick Douglass High School, Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • John F. Kennedy High School, Silver Spring, Md.
  • Judge Memorial High School, Salt Lake City, Ut.
  • Legacy Early College Charter School, Greenville, Sc.
  • Lewis and Clark Middle School, Lincoln, Ne.
  • Pleasure Ridge Park High School. Louisville, KY
  • Northview High School, Covina, California
  • Smoky Mountain Youth Media, Knoxville, Tn.
  • SRL in the Philippines
  • Westwood High School, Austin, Tx.
  • Wilson High School, Washington, D.C.

Station support for this project provided by:

South Florida PBS, Arizona Public Media, KQED, WHYY Philadelphia, WITF, WETA, UEN, PBS SoCal, Detroit Public Media, WHRO, PBS Charlotte, Maine Public, WNET, KET, KLRU, Montana PBS, Eastern Tennessee PBS, WHYY, WPT, KLRU

About Student Reporting Labs

Student Reporting Labs provides middle and high schools with a unique video journalism curriculum, teacher professional development, mentorship and relationships with local public media stations to produce original stories that explore how critical national issues impact communities around the country. Visit PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Major support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

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