Summer workshop offers students a chance to become writers and bloggers

High school students who like to write, blog and connect with other teens on the web have a great place where to polish their skills this summer. The Urban Media Foundation is offering a free writing and blogging independent study workshop at their Digital Newsroom & Media Technology Center. The workshop’s objective is to help youth learn and improve their writing, reading comprehension and speaking skills. It takes place every Thursday from 1 to 4 pm, is open to students 14 to 17 years old.


The first supervised session begins on July 14, but several students dropped in this week to get a head start on their summer projects. Some of the students have been part of the organization’s after-school media and journalism training program for years. The summer workshop is a way to keep the teens busy and engaged until the next school semester.

imageDanielle Tavasti, who has been attending the journalism training for two years and travels all the way from Long Beach with her brother Jonathan, loves the atmosphere and what she has learned along the way. “I like that they give us so many opportunities to experience journalism first hand. They took us to the USC Annenberg TV studios, where they showed us how to use cameras. That was really cool. They taught us skills we can use in any career,” referring to being able to write better and to speak in front of a camera. Danielle has even started her own website.

“I’ve learned a lot here,” says Jerriel Biggles, who also interns at Our Weekly newspaper, and contributes articles for the Urban Media Foundation website. image He has just graduated from high school and will be heading to Northern Arizona University in the fall to study broadcast journalism. “My dream is to be a sports reporter for ESPN.”

Whatever each student’s dream may be, they have a place to express themselves here. Mentors will encourage them to publish their work online, whether on the foundation’s website or on one of their own.

“We’re always looking to give youth an opportunity and a platform where their voices can be heard,” explains Sherion Johnson, the foundation’s Acting Director. “If someone wants to send an article or pictures, we want them to become a reporter for us. We have a newspaper, a blog and a website where we can publish their stories.”

Enrollment for the summer workshop is open. The UMF’s Digital Newsroom & Media Technology Center is located at 8732 S. Western Ave., LA 90047. For more information, contact Kianna Shann at (323)905-1330, or email her at [email protected].