Day One: Meeting students and staff

By KennedyRose Stiver, July 19, 2021

It’s funny how you can be so excited and nervous at the same time. Walking through the DCP El Primero High School doors to start the Mosaic Summer Journalism program was terrifying. As I looked around, I noticed other students in the room, my eyes darted from the different rooms and to nearby staff.

After the majority of the students had arrived, we all slowly started to move outside to awkwardly eat the breakfast provided. At the beginning, the instructors encouraged us to talk and engage with each other, knowing we were going to be collaborating over the next two weeks. We had an icebreaker in the form of a game where each individual stated three facts when it was their turn ,and if you had resonated with that, you stood up along with anyone else who agreed. Everyone eventually fell in line with introductions and the day had officially started. After introductions, students, partners and instructors all worked on our bio assignments and by the time we had finished, it was around 11:30 a.m. Lunchtime rolled around and money was handed out to students and we walked off to lunch and bonded over our $10 meals.

Following that, a few students shared a story that caught their eye and later explained why. While the photographers and writers were split off for parts of the day, each student still got a taste of both sides. I realized how fundamentally important photography is to a writer’s story.

Around 3:00 p.m. David Early, an inspiring journalist to many, came and shared a speech that lasted an hour and a half. We all sat in silence and utter disbelief as he made the room come alive with stories from his journalistic past. He shared his experience with being a reporter as a person of color and what that meant through the 1970s to now. He explained the important differences and impacts between news published in the '80s and '90s compared to the 20th century. In the span of over an hour, he had influenced an entire group of teenagers to pursue journalism for at least the next two weeks.

Toward the end of the day, instructors gave a recap and explained the schedule for the next day, as well as new assignments and upcoming deadlines. Students and editors then went outside one last time to snack and talk before everyone was picked up at 5 p.m.

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