SOURCE: Asian American Journalists Association

Asian American Journalists Association

April 20, 2015 15:21 ET

AAJA Selects Talented Students for JCamp Class of 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - April 20, 2015) - The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) selected 42 high school students from a diverse pool of applicants from across the country to participate in JCamp, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2015. JCamp is a six-day multicultural journalism training program for freshmen, sophomores and juniors in high school who attend the camp at no cost thanks in large part to the support of donors such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other corporate sponsors. JCamp will take place August 3 - 8, 2015 and will be hosted by the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"We have been proud to support JCamp for 11 years," said Sue Lin Chong, senior communications manager at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "There is no better program that has allowed teens to learn from the best professionals in journalism. It has been exciting to meet scores of students who have produced outstanding reporting, social media and broadcast stories as a result of their training. JCamp's work aligns with the Casey Foundation's belief that young people need a voice so they can increase their opportunities for future leadership and make a strong connection to the community."

Students will receive hands-on training in writing, reporting, photography, broadcast and online media from professional journalists who serve as faculty mentors. Among JCamp's core values are the importance of diversity in the newsroom and in media coverage, as well as the value of cross-cultural communication skills, networking and the fundamentals of leadership and collaboration.

JCamp returns to Minnesota for the first time since 2005. "We are thrilled to welcome the next generation of journalists to the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities," said Al Tims, director of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "JCamp is a fantastic opportunity for some of the brightest young journalists from across the country to work together and learn from the best teachers in a facility that rivals the biggest newsrooms in the nation. Students will have access to premier amenities on campus, as well as an abundance of diverse cultures and people throughout the Twin Cities that will provide great substance for student projects. We expect JCamp 2015 students will unearth hidden gems in Minneapolis and beyond." 

Close to 600 students have graduated from JCamp since 2001. "2015 will mark the 15th anniversary of JCamp and I am extremely proud of AAJA for building a sustainable pipeline of young talent into journalism," said Paul Cheung, AAJA national president and director of interactive & digital news production for the Associated Press. "Over the past 15 years, we have seen our students grow and now work at major media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, ABC, CNN, The Washington Post and more. This year's JCampers will have some big shoes to fill but I'm sure they will be able to step up to the challenge."

JCamp's co-directors Clea Benson, reporter for Bloomberg News, Neal Justin, TV critic for The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Lorene Yue, freelance reporter all return to lead this year's program. Returning faculty mentors include Paul Cheung; Kyndell Harkness, photographer for The Minneapolis Star Tribune; Arelis Hernandez, 2004 JCamp graduate and political reporter for The Washington Post; Caridad Hernandez, executive producer for investigations and special projects of CBS4 Miami; Richard Lui, anchor for NBC News/MSNBC and Timmy Huynh, 2005 JCamp graduate and photo editor for The Wall Street Journal. AAJA also welcomes new faculty mentor Cristela Guerra, reporter for The Boston Globe.

AAJA is proud to accept the following students to JCamp 2015:

Kai Anderson (St. Albans School - Bowie, MD)
Vivian Armitage (Heritage Hall - Oklahoma City, OK)
Orisa Coombs (Smoky Hill High School - Centennial, CO)
Diana Dominguez (Aspira Early College High School - Chicago, IL)
Brody Ford (High Tech High Media Arts - Alpine, CA)
Samantha Friskey (Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School - Bowie, MD)
Maximilliano Gallardo-Torres (Colony High School - Wasilla, AK)
Noel Gasca (Lake Stevens High School - Lake Stevens, WA)
Sharanjit Gill (Phillips Academy - North Andover, MA)
Nelzy Gonzalez (MetWest High School - Oakland, CA)
Isabel Hanewicz (McAuley High School - Fairfield, OH)
Jing Thong "Cassandra" Hsiao (Orange County School of the Arts - Walnut, CA)
Amanda Kabonero (Rockville High School - Rockville, MD)
Arielle Kirven (Convent of the Sacred Heart - Weston, CT)
Lucas Krupkin (Miami Beach Senior High - Bay Harbor Islands, FL)
Cindy Kuang (Inglemoor High School - Woodinville, WA)
Abby Lang (Westside High School - Omaha, NE)
Dianne Lee (Needham High School (Needham, MA)
Hannah Lemmons (Choate Rosemary Hall - Denver, CO)
Jenna Liu (Rock Bridge High School - Columbia, MO)
Nicholas Liu (University Laboratory High School - Champaign, IL)
Lily Lou (The Early College at Guilford - Greensboro, NC)
Thomas Lee Manglona II (Mount Carmel School - Saipan, MP)
Austin Martinez (Green Valley High School - Henderson, NV)
Nichaela "Kyla" Navarro (Las Cruces High School - Las Cruces, NM)
Richard "Jack" Oelhafen III (Harrow School - Raleigh, NC)
Jeffrei Pettaway, Jr. (Coliseum College Prep Academy - Oakland, CA)
Nathan Plowman (Har-Ber High School - Fayetteville, AR)
Maaha Rafique (Johns Creek High School - Alpharetta, GA)
Andre Ragel (Lowell High School - Lowell, MA)
Shelby Renfroe (Howard W. Blake High School - Tampa, FL)
Elijah Robert (Magnet Academy for Cultural Arts - Opelousas, LA)
Samantha Rose (Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts - Boca Raton, FL)
Ankit Seth (Poolesville High School - Germantown, MD)
Emmanuel Teferi (South Hagerstown High School - Hagerstown, MD)
Shreya Thakkar (Prospect High School - Mount Prospect, IL)
Courtney Walston (East High School - Cheyenne, WY)
Casey Wang (Eagles Landing Christian Academy - McDonough, GA)
Danielle Wong (Eastview High School - Lakeville, MN)
Guang-An "Titus" Wu (Arcadia High School - Arcadia, CA)
Kevin Yang (J.R. Masterman High School - Philadelphia, PA)
Alex Youn (The Harker School - Saratoga, CA)

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,700 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA's mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, along with the Native American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. For more information about AAJA, visit

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