I didn’t know what to expect when walking into the Youth Media Project offices that warm evening for our first pizza party. I didn’t know what it would look like, who I would see nor what to expect. We sat, we looked and we peered. We peered at the many faces of people we’d never met a day in our lives, but now would be spending our entire summer with them. I still didn’t know what to expect. But when I started to come to YMP, not only did I immediately become comfortable with the others, I felt like I was on a team.
One of the most important things I’ve learned while being a part of YMP is being able to see both sides to every story we encounter. Because we are such a diverse group of teenagers, we all have varying opinions and backgrounds. When having discussion and going over controversial issues, we encounter many different standpoints that force us to think outside of the box. Learning to be able to do this is also one of the most important things we’re taught you can do as a journalist. When writing, you have to explore and acknowledge both sides of each topic in order to be fair.
While learning these many things, I’m most grateful for the friendships I’ve made these last few weeks. Spending an entire day with some can almost force you to become close. We’ve not always agreed, but we’ve always made it work and get the job done. I’m grateful for the people skills I’ve learned and especially the opportunity to increase my writing skill by critiques and advice from others who differ from me and also have more experience than I do. Because of that, when I decide to choose journalism as one of my careers in the future, I will be prepared to be in a real newsroom environment.
Now that we’ve been working for a while now, I’m most excited about the field trips we’ll be taking soon. Having the experience to visit different places and actually being able to interview and get their stories make my anticipation even greater as the days go by.
Another thing that I’m looking forward to is seeing how our final writing pieces come together in the long run. All of the houses have been working so hard on their specific projects, and seeing how they will all come together makes me so excited for the growth we’ll witness and the greatness that will be produced.
Overall, my YMP experience has been one of the best experiences of my summer vacation. Becoming better at what I love while being surrounded by such supportive peers and mentors has really shaped me to become an even better person.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) is a leader in informational broadcasting. MPB has exhibited a commitment to educating and informing Mississippians. MPB has partnered with YMP to lend tech equipment and provide youth engagement and media specialists to train students.
E3, a project of Parents of Public Schools of Jackson (now Ask for More), supported YMP in summers 2016 and 2017 with stipends for students, and other resources.
The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson (now The Community Foundation of Mississippi) is the
fiscal sponsor for E3.
Choice Printing in downtown Jackson is an in-kind sponsor of YMP offering YMP copying and printing services from its Capitol Towers location.
Jackson-based Workplace Solutions by Barefield is a Steelcase authorized dealer offering high-end office furniture and technology solutions. Workplace Solutions has loaned chairs, mobile desks and mobile whiteboards to create a collaborative office for YMP participants.
Jackson-based Fuse.cloud (formerly Broadband Voice) offers Voice-over-IP phone systems, fiber Internet connections and technical services. Fuse.cloud has sponsored phones, VoIP phone service and technical assistance for YMP.