About the Reporting Labs
PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs are classrooms, after-school programs and clubs around the country producing original, inspiring reports about how national and global issues affect local communities.
Stevenson Ranch, CA
Name: Jennifer Overdevest
Joined SRL: 2014
West Ranch High School
After earning her B.A. in Radio, Television & Film, Jennifer pursued her dream of making movies in Hollywood. Her first job was working on the post production side of the 1994/1995 Emmy and Academy Awards. She later worked with ABC Sports on various USC live football games. Her big break came when she worked as the assistant to Joe Wizan on the movie Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. After finishing the movie, Jennifer decided to take on a new career and become a teacher.
Jennifer was hired by the William S. Hart Union High School district where she was their first video teacher. She created various video curriculum, two of which were approved by the University of California system to earn UC Fine Art Credit. In 2004, she was hired to start a brand new high school – West Ranch High School. She was able to build their video program, and has been teaching there ever since. She earned her National Borad Certification in 2009.
In 2006, Jennifer was able to attend the STN Convention at the Disneyland Hotel. This convention changed her entire way of teaching by strengthening her understanding of broadcast journalism. In 2007, her journalism program returned to the convention and won 1st place in the Sweet 16 competition. After experiencing the STN convention, Jennifer wanted to bring that same idea of professionals in the industry to the Santa Clarita Valley. She formed a collaboration with the local Junior College in articulating the video production classes in the district. With this collaboration came an idea to create a "Media Day" event. This event brought together industry professionals from the Los Angeles broadcasting market and Hollywood film industry. These professionals gave valuable advice to students about how to get into the film and TV industry.
Although she has found a career that she enjoys and has meaning, her greatest joy in life is being a mother to her two children.