Student reporters at SXSW EDU interview poet Yung Pueblo, Hamilton star Chris Jackson, Texas legislature candidate Averie Bishop, and more!

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Student reporters from Rouse and McCallum high schools in Austin, Texas attended SXSW EDU from March 4-7, marking the 13th year of SRL student reporters covering the event. Students conducted several interviews, including with Hamilton star Chris Jackson, poet Yung Pueblo, and Averie Bishop, who is running for state legislature in Texas this year.    

Student reporters interview Yung PuebloAmelie Perez and Chloe Lewcock interviewed Yung Pueblo about his poetry, and how it plays a role in supporting his mental health. “I think there’s something about being able to process your emotions through writing that is very, almost like it’s very private, almost intimate, because it’s just between you and yourself, and you’re communicating with yourself with this radical honesty where you want your genuine truth to come forward.”

Kyran Botello and Alice Scott interviewed Chris Jackson on art, inspiration, and his work with sensory accessibility organization Kulture City, a primary project since Hamilton, and what he’s learned from working with kids and those with different sensory needs. “Being in that, in that creative space, it teaches you a lot about the fact that the more you think you know about something, the less you think you actually know about anything. And, so I try to approach my art and my creativity with a great sense of humility and with curiosity because the only way that you can continue to create art is if you’re continually looking for things to be inspired by.” 

Natalie Erzal and Ingrid Smith interviewed Averie Bishop about what it’s like to be running for office as a young woman of color—and a Democrat—in the conservative stronghold of Texas, and what she hopes to accomplish: movement towards more equitable opportunities and solutions in education, healthcare and other issues that deeply impact youth.

Group of student reporters pose with Chris Jackson

Pierce Martin also interviewed Kiki Leyba, a teacher at Columbine. Student reporters also covered the production of Ranked! The Musical, a show exploring academic pressure —and whose Austin production with students came together in just 48 hours.

“The fact that PBS NewsHour SRL entrusted the students and their teachers to handle high-profile interviews on our own motivated all of us to be worthy of that trust, and the results were inspiring for me to witness,” said David Winter, educator at McCallum High School.I am so impressed by the student journalists from Rouse and McCallum. I could tell that the subjects they interviewed felt the same way.”

Stay tuned for the final cuts of these interviews. 

Shoutout to all the student reporters involved: Pierce Martin, Autumn Rogers, Kyran Botello, Amelie Perez, Natalie Erzal, Alice Scott, Ingrid Smith,MiraPatel, Callen Romell, Chloe Lewcock, Landyn Rosow, Noah Braun, Sofia Saucedo, and Tyler Pullum.

And a special thanks to SRL educators and local partners Trina Moore, Tara Bordeaux, David Winter, Courtney Rosow, and Ben Kramer.