Maria Chicuen, Brian Chang Honored at 2012 AAJA JCamp


SAN FRANCISCO — Maria Cristina Chicuen of Miami and Brian Chang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., were named New York Times/Boston Globe scholars June 23 at the Asian American Journalists Association’s JCamp for high school students.

Chicuen, a rising senior at Felix Varela Senior High School, and Chang, who will be a senior at Westlake High School, were honored for their leadership skills, passion for journalism and outstanding work for the the JCamp Live blog. Chichen, 17, and Chang, 16, collaborated on a report about a cigar shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

“Maria and Brian are the future of journalism,” said Clea Benson, a reporter at Bloomberg News and co-director of JCamp.  “We’re grateful to the New York Times Co. for helping nurture their talent.”

AAJA’s JCamp, now in its 12th year, is a five-day program for high school students from multicultural backgrounds that aims to ensure that a pipeline of diverse young journalists enters the profession. More than 500 students have participated in JCamp since 2001.

“JCamp not only exposed me to the opportunities journalism offers,” Chicuen said. “Most importantly, it taught me that passion is vital to achieve excellence in this field. And while I learned, I had the privilege to meet friends from all over the country that soon became family.”

Media Contact: AAJA Executive Director Kathy Chow

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  • Telephone: 415-346-2051 | Fax: 415-346-6343
  • Mailing address: 5 Third St., Suite 1108, San Francisco, Calif. 94103

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,500 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, along with the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. For more information about AAJA, visit