SRL Academy fellows explore how DC-area youth are making an impact

Twenty-six teen journalists from 14 states gathered in Washington, D.C. this summer to sharpen their broadcast journalism skills at the fifth annual Student Reporting Labs Academy.

Paired with mentors, SRL fellows filmed, scripted and edited reports in just 4 days. Here are their stories about youth engagement programs in the nation’s capital:

D.C. teen spends summer volunteering at the Smithsonian National Zoo 

Mercer Washington Dickerson’s love for animals and conservation inspired him to volunteer at the Smithsonian National Zoo Kids’ Farm.

Story produced by Wyatt Burichka from Cody High School in Wyoming, Kaitlyn Gong from Oakland Military Institute in California, Hector Machuca from Lanier High School in Texas, and Angel Delich from Frederick V. Pankow Center in Michigan. Mentor support was provided by Victor Fernandez and Kris Vera-Philips.

Technology and art intersect at ARTECHOUSE

An art space in the nation’s capital focuses on the intersection of art and technology, giving its visitors one-of-a-kind immersive experiences.

Story produced by Kaleb Valez from Jersey Village High School in Texas, Ernesto Hernandez from Ontario High School in California, Jazmyne Viloria from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Hawaii, Nova Martinez from Northview High School in California, and Darian Garcia-Bernabe from Franklin Learning Center in Pennsylvania. Mentor support provided by Briget Ganske and Michael Kauffman.

Local culinary program helps young Peruvian immigrant discover his passion for cooking

With help from La Cocina VA, a local culinary program, Oscar Leguia realizes his lifelong dream of becoming a chef.

Story produced by Reece Harnett from Fort Mill High School in South Carolina, Gray Fons from Royal Oak High School in Michigan, Jonathan Luines from Legacy Early College High School in South Carolina, and Karen Ramos from Dominion High School in Virginia. Mentor support provided by Rawan Elbaba and Jennifer Suzuki.

Students and robots intermingle at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+

ARTLAB+ is giving young people opportunities to explore science, technology, and art, with a little help from Pepper, an innovative talking robot.

This story was produced by Sam Stolpe from Wauwatosa East High School in Wisconsin, Kylee Ham from Mid-Maine Technical Center in Maine, Diana Rincon from Northview High School in California, and Skyylar Jordan from Desert Pines High School in Nevada. Mentor support provided by William Swift and Mike Conrad.

Maryland teacher brings mindfulness and yoga to the classroom 

A Montgomery County high school teacher uses yoga to create a culture of mindfulness in his community.

Story produced by Zhenwei Gao from Etiwanda High School in California, Brittany Bucksell from Surrattsville High School in Maryland, Faith Christy Soliven from Maui High School in Hawaii, and Damien Henson from Westview High School in California. Mentor support provided by Lisa Wilk and Erika Quick.

Kids find new roots with Early Growers

In Southeast D.C., Early Growers teaches children about nature and the environment through gardening and fresh food. 

Story produced by Isaiah Harley from Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Ohio, Chloe McCarron from Etiwanda High School in California, Cailyn Omuro from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Hawaii, and Bailey Childress from Elizabethtown Early College and Career Center in Kentucky. Mentor support provided by Leah Clapman, Michelle Dyer, and Michael Boulter.

2019 SRL Academy BTS

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs welcomed 26 students from across the country for a week-long journalism boot camp for teen reporters. Together, they produced six stories exploring youth engagement programs in Washington, DC.

This behind-the-scenes video was produced by Lilly Waterfall from Royal Oak High School in Michigan and Xavier Dominguez from Las Cruces High School in New Mexico.


NewsHour Extra Lessons:

PBS’ Student Reporting Labs discover trove of youth stories in D.C.