A JCamper’s thank you to Co-director Neal Justin

Maya_Shelton_DaviesWhen I arrived in DC, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I knew going into JCamp was that it was an honor for me to be there, that I had a strong passion for journalism, and that I was beyond excited, as well as nervous, to meet my fellow campers and mentors. I knew I would be challenged, but I did not know that I would be challenged in such a profound way that pushed me beyond my own expectations.

Reflecting on my experience at JCamp, I realize that the experience I had was truly life-changing. With all of the people I met, the extremely professional, genuinely interesting speakers we had, and all of the hard work we did to further expand our knowledge of journalism, saying that JCamp made me a better journalist is an understatement.

I took away so much from camp. Not only am I a better journalist because of this experience, I am a better person and conversationalist as well. JCamp was a whirlwind of an experience and I am humbled that I had the great opportunity to attend.

Coming from a small town in River Falls, as a rising junior, there aren’t any open dialogues about some of the most important subjects in the world, such as race, the environment, politics, religion, and the future. I experienced open discussion on all of these topics while at JCamp, and I personally think this is one of the reasons this group of campers got so close, as well as one of the reasons that JCamp, as a whole, is so successful at producing such ambitious, successful students in journalism.

So, Neal, thank you so much for everything you have done. Thank you for coming to Threesixty and talking to us about JCamp, encouraging us to apply. If you hadn’t come and told us about what a unique and helpful experience it was, I wouldn’t have applied. But I am so glad I did, this experience has changed me for the better. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to head-up this camp and thank you for your ability to draw in a wonderful group of mentors, speakers, and some of the most intelligent students I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with.

- Maya Shelton-Davies, JCamp class of 2013, DC