Student Leaders Selected for JCamp 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) has selected 24 talented students from schools across the U.S. and Asia to participate in JCamp 2021.

The annual seven-day multicultural journalism training program will take place in a virtual format from July 11 to 17, 2021. Students are able to attend the camp at no cost to their families thanks in large part to the support of donors such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other sponsors.

More than 800 students have graduated from JCamp since the inaugural program in 2001. Professional journalists serve as faculty mentors throughout the week and provide students with hands-on training in writing, reporting, photography, broadcast and online media. 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, media ethics and the fundamentals of leadership and collaboration.

“JCamp is no exception to the difficulties faced in 2020, but we are adjusting to meet the challenge and give our admitted class a program of the caliber our students have come to expect,” said Arelis Hernández, JCamp co-director. “Though it will look different this year, JCamp’s calling remains intact: To cultivate ethical, inclusive and compassionate industry leaders who view equity not as a lofty goal but as intrinsic to journalism.”

Hernández, Texas correspondent for The Washington Post and a 2004 JCamp alumna, is joined by two co-directors: Ben Bartenstein, Middle East correspondent for Bloomberg News and a 2011 JCamp alumnus, and Timmy Huynh, photo editor at The Wall Street Journal and a 2005 JCamp alumnus. The volunteer faculty and support staff includes Clea Benson, deputy editor at Politico Pro; Terrell Brown ‘02, news anchor at ABC 7 Eyewitness News in Chicago; Julia Chan ‘03, producer at CNN; Joie Chen, senior adviser at The Poynter Institute; Paul Cheung, director of journalism innovation at the Knight Foundation; Kyndell Harkness, assistant managing editor for diversity and community at The Minneapolis Star Tribune; Neal Justin, TV critic for The Minneapolis Star Tribune; Sandhya Kambhampati ‘08, data reporter at The Los Angeles Times; Ciara Lucas ‘12, TV reporter at ABC 6 News in Columbus; and Richard Lui, news anchor for MSNBC.

AAJA is proud to accept the following students to JCamp 2021: 

  • Sabir Aden — Highland Park Senior High School; Saint Paul, MN
  • Francisca Aravena — Wayzata High School; Plymouth, MN
  • Davina Boison — Glen Allen High School; Glen Allen, VA
  • Anne Brandes — Phillips Exeter Academy; Exeter, NH 
  • Cecilia Edelberg — Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School; Aventura, FL
  • Brighton Gore — Liberty High School; Henderson, NV
  • Gianna Jirak — C.D. Hylton High School; Woodbridge, VA 
  • Mizuki Kai — Bellaire High School; Houston, TX 
  • Dong Wan Kang — Arnold O Beckman High School; Irvine, CA 
  • Jun Lei — Wellesley High School; Wellesley, MA 
  • Caroline Lobel — Dougherty Valley High School; San Ramon, CA 
  • Katrina Machetta — Klein Collins High School; Spring, TX 
  • Joanna Malvas — Pine View School; North Port, FL 
  • Ilia Morshed — Johns Creek High School; Alpharetta, GA
  • Jacqueline O’Brien — Carmel High School; Carmel, IN 
  • Jordan Pettiford — Johns Creek High School; Alpharetta, GA
  • Lucia Rivera — Bonita Vista Senior High School; Chula Vista, CA 
  • Sofia Rodriguez — Rockwall Heath High School; Rowlett, TX
  • Gracie Rowland — The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science; Columbus, MS
  • Manav Singh — Lower Moreland High School; Huntingdon Valley, PA 
  • Jenna Wang — Northwestern University; Iowa City, IA
  • Dallas Watson — Belleville West High School; Belleville, IL
  • Molly Wetsch — Lincoln High School; Sioux Falls, SD
  • Kristina Yang — Taipei American School; Taipei, Taiwan

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