SUMMER JOB SQUAD:
Interested in snagging one of the best summer jobs in the city?
You can earn $250 a week — plus free breakfasts and weekly field trips — writing stories for the citywide youth newspaper, Boston Teens in Print. The session runs from July 5 to August 12. You must live in Boston and be attending high school in fall of 2016.
Complete these steps:
Teens in Print student writers come from neighborhoods and schools across the city. Meet one of our “Tipsters,” Melanie Baez!
Melanie Baez, 18, joined TiP when she picked up a copy from school and realized it was missing something—a comic!
Today, she is more than just a comic artist but both an artist and a writer. Melanie approaches the writing process in the same way that she approaches drawing. She begins with something attention grabbing and lets the rest flow, leaving the editing for later.
At first, Melanie said she wasn’t interested in journalism, but now she admits that she enjoys writing articles. The article she is most proud of is, “Headbanger music, Spanish style.” In it, she translated a Spanish song into English to reveal the authenticity and cultural meaning of the lyrics.
TiP has helped Melanie create a new flow of inspiration for her writing and art. Never having been influenced by “real life stuff”—as she calls it—Melanie now uses her writing to create new artwork: “I feel like my art and TiP have really connected.”
Motivated by “spreading the word,” Melanie uses her writing to talk about issues she is passionate about. She finds her voice when she focuses on topics related to LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.
TiP, she says, has taught her many imp ortant tools that will help her in college, such as editing and how to find valid sources online and in person.
She laughs as she says, “One big thing TiP has taught me is that I always need to check my work,” admitting that she was guilty of throwing something on a page and declaring it “done.”
After high school, Melanie plans to go to college to study animation and graphic design. She aspires to one day work for a major animation studio like Disney or Pixar.
Teens in Print student writers come from neighborhoods and schools across the city. Meet one young reporter, Adamajan.
When a friend offered free pizza one afternoon during her freshman year, Adamajan Bah did not hesitate to accept the invitation. She soon found herself among fellow “TIPsters”. She looked around at the other students, hard at work writing their next big story, and pictured herself among them. She recalls a conversation she had with TIP Coordinator Ric Kahn that afternoon: “I asked him, ‘Why do you write?’ He told me he writes to express himself… I want to do something like that.”
Adamajan’s first interview was “awkward.” She remembers nervously standing in Copley Library, stuttering over her words and earning weird looks from teens. Panic began to set in—what was she going to tell Ric when she came back with no sources?—when one passerby offered to be interviewed. Adamajan had to ask this girl, “Are you for real?” before reeling through her list of questions—and successfully making it through that first interview. She remembers the “amazing feeling” seeing her name as the byline of her first published article at TIP. Amidst her excitement, she shared her accomplishment by sending the article to the one girl that made it possible that day in Copley Library.
Those days of awkward interviews seem far in the distance for Adamajan, who aspires to be a leading voice for her generation. Her passion for writing shines through when she focuses on one of her favorite topics, her religion. She uses writing to shed light on the struggles of being Muslim in America. In one article, Adamajan describes being terrified of not knowing how other will react when she wore a hijab—the Islamic headscarf—to school for the first time. Despite her fears, Adamajan knew the importance of sharing her experience.
One of many things that motivates Adamajan to write is the hope that her words will be comforting to others similar to her. As she says, “By me expressing myself and expressing the struggles I’ve had in my life, in my 17 years of living, I feel like other people can relate to that.”She pictures herself incorporating her passion for writing and religion in college by studying abroad, to fully immerse herself in a different culture and belief system. Adamajan plans to attend a four-year college to study medicine and religion or education. She will be the first in her family to attend college.
Teens in Print celebrates 10 years and 1,000 voices with the mission of uniting the city’s teens to create an outlet to inform, communicate, and provide positive change through written expression. Congratulations to TiP alumni and present teens for their hard work and dedication to telling teens’ stories!
Three Teens in Print staff members have been named Caroline Knapp Scholars for the fall/winter 2013-14 academic year.
Mussuba Samati (left), a senior at Boston Community Leadership Academy; James Whitter, a junior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science; and Adamajan Bah (right), a sophomore at Boston Community Leadership Academy, will be part of an in-depth reporting project sponsored by WriteBoston and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, at Boston University.
The scholars program is funded by the family of the late journalist and author Caroline Knapp, whose legacy has inspired Boston high school students seeking a voice in media for more than a decade.
For the past 10 years, the Knapp program placed high school students in summer internships at major Boston newspapers and media outlets. This fall, the Knapp initiative is taking the program to another level by selecting high school journalists with experience at Teens in Print — a citywide youth newspaper co-sponsored by WriteBoston and The Boston Globe — and giving them a unique opportunity to explore the world of investigative journalism.
“This program gives me an opportunity to investigate important issues in my community,” says Samati.
“I feel as if joining this program will give me a chance to share my passion for writing with the world,” says Whitter.
“This program,” says Bah, “is an opportunity to open the minds of others to the things that are happening right under our noses.”