AAJA and CalMatters’ Inaugural JCal Program Selects 23 California High School Students

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and CalMatters are excited to announce the inaugural cohort of 23 California high school students for their JCal 2023 program. 

The all-inclusive journalism program will take place June 20 to June 24 at the CalMatters newsroom in Sacramento. Over the course of the five days, students will participate in projects focused on the theme of Water and Drought and have hands-on experiences in the newsroom. The cohort has been carefully selected to reflect the diversity of California residents.

“AAJA is thrilled for this inaugural program that brings high school students together and allows them to bring their communities’ experiences to the newsroom. In a state as diverse as California and the many communities whose stories need to be told, we look forward to the collaboration and work of students across the state,” said AAJA Executive Director Naomi Tacuyan Underwood.“We’re thrilled to host JCal in partnership with AAJA,” said CalMatters CEO Neil Chase. “These are of course the journalists of the future, but they’re also the ones of the present, informing their school communities and neighborhoods. It’s an honor to play a part in helping them learn new skills and learn from each other.” 

AAJA is proud to accept the following students to JCaL 2023:

Maia Alvarez – Los Angeles, California (The Archer School For Girls)

Olivia Brandeis – Danville, California (Monte Vista High School)

Emma Canillo – Sacramento, California (El Camino Fundamental High School)

Katelyn Chang – Millbrae, California (Mills High School) 

Jaimie Chun – Fullerton, California (Sunny Hills High School)

Maggie De La Peza – Glendora, California (Glendora High School)

Ethan Fernandez – Los Angeles, California (Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School) 

Rafaella Franklin – McKinleyville, California (Arcata High School) 

Aurora (Aya) Hashi – Hacienda Heights, California (Glen A. Wilson High School) 

Sean Her – Fresno, California (Sunnyside High School) 

Bella Kim – Long Beach, California (Los Alamitos High School) 

Astreya McKnight – Bayside, California (Arcata High School)

Jesse Morris – Three Rivers, California (Eleanor Roosevelt Learning Center) 

Maia Pak – Chino, California (Diamond Bar High School)

Phoebe Pan – Irvine, California (Sage Hill School)

Antonio Peeples – Mountain View, California (Mountain View High School)

Stephanie Perez – Los Angeles, California (Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School)

Kayla Nicole Piedad – Irvine, California (University High School) 

Abigail Ross – Coronado, California (Coronado High School)

Clarissa Wing – San Bruno, California (Notre Dame High School Belmont)

Maya Winger – Corte Madera, California (Redwood High School) 

Lucille Wong-Ryniejski – Fairfax, California (Redwood High School) 

Sarah Yee – Granite Bay, California (Granite Bay High School) 


Media Contact:

Waliya Lari, Director of Programs and Partnerships, AAJA

Email: waliyal@aaja.org

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