Paper Airplanes Journalism Course
In October 2017, I began volunteering as a mentor for Paper Airplanes. Started as an e-learning nonprofit to teach English to refugees from the Syrian Civil War, the organization is now piloting a journalism course. The course aims to help those affected by the war develop the skills to tell their communities' stories and highlight refugee issues for the rest of the world.
As a mentor, my role is to work one-on-one with a Syrian student throughout the 12-week program. I consult with student regularly on weekly assignments, providing support with brainstorming article ideas, finding sources, conducting interviews and writing articles.
Huskies for Journalism
In the fall of 2015, I, along with two other Northeastern University students, launched Huskies for Journalism - a service project to create an after-school newspaper club at a Boston public high school. We forged a partnership between West Roxbury Academy, a majority-minority school with only a handful of other clubs and extra-curricular offerings, and the Northeastern University Scholars Program, a full-tuition, merit-based scholarship program that emphasizes civic engagement.
We traveled to WRA once a week to lead the newspaper club, teaching lessons on the basic principles of journalism, mentoring student reporters and editing copy. We also designed the school newspaper and coordinated with local publishers to get it printed.
Our goal for the project was to reduce the “activity gap” and give access to quality journalism programs and publications to high school students throughout Boston. Participation in extracurricular journalism programs has been linked to improved ACT scores, confidence and college performance. They also provide students with a plethora of skills from writing and editing to interviewing and networking. Having reaped the benefits of newspaper clubs at our own high schools, we wanted to bring these benefits to under-served high school students in the Boston area.
During the year-long project, the high school students published three issues of the newspaper, even landing interviews with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz. Click on the pictures below to see the full newspaper.
After that school year, the club was converted into a formal class, and many of the students planned to continue working on the newspaper throughout their high school career.