The Mississippi Youth Media Project brings young people, age 14 to 19, together to learn how to report on their community and tell their own stories, with a focus on juvenile justice. Supported in part by the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (kfla.org), the project's nonprofit fiscal agent, YMP is a volunteer project of Donna Ladd—BOOM editor-in-chief—and four other Kellogg fellows.
Here are some words from students themselves:
"I don't usually do things during the summer, but my mom told me about this program," says Kelsee Ford, 16, a videographer and junior at Murrah High School who plans to continue her career in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and move up to ROTC. "I learned to conduct a podcast and a little about web design. I learned that people might give up on you, but show them you can do it."
"I felt good about how the program explained the ins and outs of journalism," says Z'eani Furdge, 16, a YMP podcaster and a homeschooled junior from Newton, Miss., who plans to go to college and major in technology. "One lesson that I learned is that the real world is no joke."
After two months of intensive reporting, interviewing, cold-calling and jumping to the beat of breaking stories and protests, students published their work at jxnpulse.com. The site includes enterprise stories with solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline and opinion pieces on race, education and Pokemon.