EL CENTRO, Calif. – Brawley High School students got to shoot and interview somebody on Wednesday morning. They did it just like journalists in the field do, with cameras and microphones.
The hands-on experience will help aspiring student-journalists while also help the school get a grant to start new journalism classes.
Jose Flores, Civics and History teacher at Brawley High School, said, “We’ve entered into a partnership with Renaissance Journalism from San Francisco State University. We were approached to be a possible candidate for a grant. We’re trying to get students to have a voice in the valley through journalism.”
Renaissance Journalism is a program run by San Francisco State University’s department of journalism. According to their website, they provide grants to journalists and organizations involved in journalism.
“We were asked to do a pilot program for first semester with Civics and U.S. History classes. And if successful, then it can be replicated in other high schools throughout the valley. The money would come from non-profit organizations and they would decide which students would be possible candidates to go to San Francisco for two weeks.”
Flores said he has five classes and there are about three or four students per class that show genuine interest in journalism. He said he hopes others will eventually gravitate towards journalism as they know more about what it actually is.
Students expressed their interest in journalism and as they were practicing by interviewing each other. They also shared their interest in other areas important to them.
Genesis Barnes, a Brawley High School student, said, “Personally, I like to write about anything. Everything is just interesting. Everything catches my attention. Whether it’s music or current events that could possibly be boring for some people but interesting to me.”
Mario Madriz said he wanted to open his own business. “I want to start a company up called strictly rude. It’s a skate boarding company. I’ll make apparel and skate wear. I’m actually in the middle of filming a video part about it right now.”
Manuel Collado, another student, said, “Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of paintwork but, I’ve always done pencil sketches. I like to do portraits.”
Flores has been reaching out to local journalists and organizations to help him meet the grant requirements of exposing his students to various forms of journalism. He said he hopes these workshops and the interest of his students in journalism will help the school qualify for the grant.