by Lailaa Bashir
YMP has been a very interesting experience, as I have not had any training in media prior to this. I was somewhat nervous when I first entered the building and began my first journey by going up the elevator to the 13th floor. When I arrived, I was relieved to see a couple of familiar faces, but because of my introverted nature, I proceeded to stand in the farthest corner of the main room my myself.
Emily Henderson, who appeared very young and charismatic, then gathered the 2017 YMP group toward the center of the room for some introduction exercises. As time passed, I began to become more comfortable with these unfamiliar surroundings, but was still apprehensive to speak. As we were finishing our introduction exercises and segued into lunch, I seemed to lose track of time easily, and the rest of the day flew by and came to an abrupt end.
Returning to the YMP office the second day was slightly easier for me, as I began to speak to my colleagues as they welcomed me into the room. But today we began our nine-week journey with an introduction to rigorous journalism, taking notes accordingly.
After our break for lunch, our team practiced interviewing skills, which the students assigned in pairs to interview our partner in 15-minute increments. My partner was August Harp, whom I had known from my previous school, McWillie Elementary. This past interaction helped our interviews to be more natural and fluid, and we actually discovered details about each other that we never knew before.
We were then introduced to the story of Cedric Willis, a man who was arrested at 19 and wrongly accused of shooting, raping and murdering a woman and killing his husband. As the day came to a close, we were given the assignment of creating 10 questions to ask our interview partner and to also finish reading "Deepest Midnight," the story about Cedric's struggle and the unjust criminal-justice system.
I am looking forward to learning new things at YMP and to producing a product I can be proud of because of my hard work.