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Meet the Princeton Summer Journalism Program Class of 2013

Mofida Abdelmageed lives in Brooklyn, NY, and attends the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. She is a member of Minds Matter. She is interested in medical journalism because an “informed public is more likely to devote the resources needed to make substantial changes in poor countries.”

Lorena Alvarez lives in Tustin, CA, and attends Tustin High School. She is the yearbook editor at her school as well as a swimmer. She is interested in journalism because writing is a way for her to “bring life to a situation through words.”

Erick Arzate lives in Chicago, IL, and attends Chicago Academy High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society and writes for his newspaper, The Cougar Print.  He is interested in journalism because “without journalists the people of this planet would not know what is going on outside their country or even city.”

Kina Carney lives in Philadelphia, PA, and attends Freire Charter School. She wrote for her school newspaper and is a member of the mock trial team and the National Honor Society. She is interested in journalism because she enjoys “the freedom and challenge that writing offers.”

Allyson Chavez lives in Brooklyn, NY, and attends Central Park East Secondary School. She founded her school’s Dead Poets Society and is a member of the student council. “Politics were the catalyst that sparked my interest in journalism. I was engaged by the National Review and its Republican stance on the ongoing battle for an immigration reform," she says.

Shemaiah Clarke lives in Philadelphia, PA, and attends Mastery Charter High School. She runs track and field, swims, and dances. “I would like to pursue a career in journalism because I want to inspire the world by writing, and I want to encourage those who are hidden and suppressed by others that it's OK to be different and hopefully encourage them to express and accept themselves through my writing,” she says. 

Christian Cordova-Pedroza lives in Landenberg, PA, and attends Kennett High School. He writes for the Demon Press, his school newspaper, and is a member of Unidad, the Latino leadership group. “By becoming a magazine and international journalist, I would open and bring light to social issues, fulfilling my role as an active advocate and catalyst for positive social change,” he says.

Miguel Diaz lives in the Bronx, NY, and attends Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School. He is the vice president of his school’s student government, and writes for the student newspaper, The Locker. “I’ve become interested in pursing journalism as a career because it has helped me identify who I am, and has helped me dig deeper and pull out the confidence that I knew I had within me,” he says.

Imani Ford lives in Chicago, IL, and attends Jones College Preparatory School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and her school’s varsity basketball team. “There are a lot of things in the world I agree and do not agree with. I want these things to be known to people,” she explains. “Whether they agree with my views or not, I feel that my opinions count. Journalism for me is a way to make this happen.”

Daisy Gomez lives in San Diego, CA, and attends The Preuss School UCSD. She writes for her school’s newspaper and is a member of the Brave New Voices writing group. She wants to pursue a career in journalism because she wants “to advocate for those who need representation.”

Xavier Husser lives in Manhattan, NY, and attends Cristo Rey New York High School. He is a peer tutor in world history and a student ambassador for his school. “I am interested in journalism because my best ideas are written on paper,” he says. “Writing allows me to express my beliefs on a topic in a sophisticated and elegant way that speaking does not.”

Ashley Jones-Quaidoo lives in Hyattsville, MD, and attends Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is president of the Future Business Leaders of America at her school. She is interested in broadcast journalism because she is “determined to dig deeper and travel to a variety of places to get the facts, so that people are aware." 

Kathy Kang lives in Camarillo, CA, and attends Adolfo Camarillo High School. She is treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of the California Scholarship Federation. She is interested in journalism because she believes that “persuasive writing can change someone’s perspective; argumentative writing can express your opinion and belief; and informational writing can provide logical and precise information to others.”

Lesley Le Platte lives in Atlanta, GA, and attends Benjamin E. Mays High School. She is a member of the Science National Honor Society and of her school’s student government. “I want to be a journalist because I want to know the truth,” she says.

Jeanne Li lives in Manhattan, NY, and attends the High School for Dual Language Asian Studies. She is a Chinese-American Planning Council volunteer and has also interned for the Biostatistics Department at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “When I experienced doing interviews, writing nut grafs, choosing headlines, and making cutlines from our journalism unit, I was sure I had found the thing I was looking for,” she says.

Navil Perez lives in Thornton, CO, and attends York International High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. She wants to pursue a career in journalism because she hopes “to shine light on the many invisible injustices one by one." 

Ellen Pham lives in Tampa, FL, and attends Chamberlain High School. She is the editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, The Chieftain, and founder and president of the Keep Our School Beautiful Club. “I want to pursue a career in journalism because of my unwavering curiosity,” she says.

Jhazalyn Prince lives in Brooklyn, NY, and attends the Academy for Young Writers. Outside of academics, she works in her school’s library. She wants to pursue a career in journalism because of her love of words and because she wants “to be able to inform people of events occurring in today’s society.”

Hunter Richards lives in Allegan, MI, and attends Allegan High School. She writes for her school’s yearbook and is a member of the National Honor Society. She wants to pursue a career in journalism because she believes that “journalism opens up a window that allows a person to learn about a topic or issue by creating intricate interactions with others.”

Odett Salcedo lives in Manhattan, NY, and attends Gregorio Luperon High School. She writes for her school newspaper and is part of her school’s Leadership Team. She is interested in journalism because she “would like to be the voice of those people who otherwise won’t be heard.”

Lauren Smith lives in Los Angeles, CA, and attends Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School College and Career Preparatory. She is the secretary for the Mandarin Club and a QuestBridge Scholar. “Writing opinion and informational pieces gives me the chance to explore and understand not only the opinions of my peers, but also my own opinions and views,” she says. 

Sara Solano lives in Manhattan, NY, and attends Gregorio Luperon High School. She volunteers for the Jewish Home Life Center and for the Bridge Exhibition at the MoMA. "I am interested in journalism because I feel that everybody deserves to know what happens around them and I want to be that medium of information between the world and other people,” she says.

Bianca Uribe lives in Manhattan, NY, and attends the High School of Hospitality Management. She is a student actress with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and is the vice president of the National Honor Society. She is interested in journalism because “there is just so much of the world that is unheard of, and I feel that it is my obligation to expose it.”

Jasmine White lives in Birmingham, AL, and attends the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She is the junior class vice president and writes for Miss Unlimited and Spark Summit. She is interested in journalism because, to her, journalism “is bonding with strangers and developing a common sense of communication that moves people to talk and think.”

Jingwei Zhang lives in Oakland, CA, and attends American Indian Public High School. He is a member of his school’s Music Club and volunteers with Asian Health Services. He is interested in journalism because he believes “it is the duty of journalists to ensure that the objective truth prevails, so people can decide for themselves what is right or wrong.”