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The Princeton Summer Journalism Program Class of 2017

David Agoha lives in Bronx, NY and is a senior at Millennium Art Academy. His two most interesting extracurricular activities are Student Council and Art Club, which have taught him focus, responsibility, and attentiveness to detail and allowed his work to be at its best. He is interested in journalism is because it reveals truth–it does not reserve that truth to a specific group, but it reveals the truth to all. 

Analaura Amezquita lives in Whittier, CA and is a senior at Whittier High School. She is mostly involved in the Junior State of America (JSA), where she realized the importance of being politically aware and of voicing her opinions–as long as she had evidence to back them up. Outside of JSA, she became the president of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Through that position and various fundraising activities, she was able to give eleven seniors scholarships ranging from $200-$1,000. She is interested in journalism due to her desire to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable with the stories she will cover.  

Libbing Barrera lives in Spring Valley, NY and is a senior at Spring Valley High School. She helps children with their homework at the local library and volunteers at a feeding program every Saturday morning. She wants to become a journalist because she wants to give people a voice and feels like good journalism is more important now than ever.  

Jadyn Bishock lives in Jersey City, NJ and is a senior at County Prep High School. Her main interest is writing, whether it is writing poems, stories, or plays. She also participated in her school's yearly literary magazine this past school year. Her interest in writing has now extended to journalism, and she is excited to explore this form of real-life storytelling.

Daren Braithwaite is from Brooklyn, NY and is a senior at Clara Barton High School for Medical Professions. Her two major extracurricular passions are running for the Panthers track team at her school and volunteering with the homeless mothers and children of the New York City homeless shelter system. Her interest in journalism stems from the fact that, at its best, it can be both a deterrent to ignorance and an uncomplicated, accessible way to spread crucial information. 

Alana Burke lives in Detroit, MI and is a senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School. Alana is the senior editor for her school's newspaper and is the senior class Vice President. She is interested in journalism because the public has the right to be informed on things that could greatly affect them and the people around them whether it's happening in their own backyard or a hundred miles away.  

Yasmina Cabrera lives in Bronx, NY and is a senior at The High School for Environmental Studies. She is an officer for the Model United Nations and the Feminist Clubs at her school. She is interested in journalism because of the work that goes on in making sure everyday people are aware of what's happening with their government.

Delsee Choudhury lives in Atlantic City, NJ and is a senior at Atlantic City High School. She often spends her time either writing, creating or advocating her beliefs. Her interest in journalism blossomed from a very young age and it has always given her a voice, an opportunity to speak her mind without the fear of being silenced. 

Wilson Cruz lives in Los Angeles, CA and is a senior at Los Angeles School of Global Studies. He has been part of Students Run LA which has helped me complete 4 marathons and am aiming for a 5th. He is also part of a student-led group, Student Together Organizing Peace, which raises awareness about issues happening in the community. He is interested in journalism because he wants to touch upon the issues happening in our communities, so minorities can have a voice. 

Amina Diakite lives in Bronx, NY and is a senior at Bronx Theatre High School. When she’s not at school, she works on photography skills. She finds that taking photographs for shows and events can be so inspiring and engaging; it gives her the freedom to apply her own creativity and share her point of view through the lens. In her spare time, she also loves freelance poetry writing, reading, and enjoy a tune here and there. Amina first realized she was interested in journalism when she was about 13 years old and she knew that she wanted her poetry and writing to be shared and enjoyed by others. Over time, each grade level gave her a piece of writing that she could be proud of, whether it was based on a focused prompt or a free write; being obligated to write gave her the ability to see and think beyond certain barriers, keeping her open-minded and flexible. She became more confident about journalism when she realized that she wanted to travel and see the world and see that life continues beyond New York and that she wanted to share her experience with others. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this program and through the program she hopes to continue her growth as a writer.  

Annie Dong lives in Manhattan, NY and is a senior at the High School of Fashion Industries. She is a member of her school’s book and publication club. She takes college classes at Baruch and City College, volunteers at a local soup kitchen, and will be volunteering at a hospital. She is interested in journalism because she loves writing and because it gives people a voice to express themselves, informs others what is going on at the moment, exposes the truth, and helps people empower themselves because the best journalism is true and compelling.  

Abby Dotterer lives in Casper, WYand is a senior at Natrona County High School. Her most important interests are reading classic novels, assisting her mother in her portrait photography business, collecting records, and biking. She is interested in journalism to bring light to educational issues.  

Muhammad Elarbi lives in San Diego, CA and is a senior at Gompers Preparatory Academy. He is a well-honed photographer who believes anything is achievable with a goal and others in mind. His enthusiasm for visual storytelling was sparked by job shadowing a veteran photojournalist from The San Diego Union-Tribune. He is passionate about telling the events and stories that make San Diego what it is.

Danielle Emerson lives in Shiprock, NM and is a senior at Kirtland Central High School. She is co-editor of the yearbook, a dedicated member of the Journalism Club, National Honors Society, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and contributes to video productions. She is interested in social psychology, photography, video productions, creative writing, and journalism. Journalism is the fight against ignorance. The Navajo Reservation needs someone who is more than willing to report the truth without a trace of reluctance or fear. Pursuing journalism satisfies both a personal interest and a social obligation. This is the root of her passion for journalism.

Valeria Escobar is a senior from Uplift Summit International Preparatory in Arlington, TX. She takes interest in encouraging political participation in her community and performing piano for her friend and family. She is interested in journalism because she wishes to explore efforts to diversify social narratives driven by the presentation of the news. 

Grace Fashanu lives in Spring, TX and is a senior at Spring High School. She is an officer on her speech and debate team and loves to read and write. Grace has always admired the important role journalists play in people's everyday lives and is excited to participate in helping to inform the public. 

Cynthia Guerrero lives on the south side of Chicago, IL and is a senior at Hubbard High School, where she is an IB diploma candidate. Cynthia is currently the class secretary, Vice President of National Honor Society, Vice President of L.A.T.I.N.O.S (Metzli Youth Leadership Club), and a member of Tomorrow's Legacy Club; organizations that highly encourage her to volunteer in the community. She is also a new editor for the school newspaper, The Cavalier. She is very passionate about sports and has been on the swim team and on the water polo team for three years. Cynthia believes that journalism can serve as an outlet to share people's stories and give the audience a voice. She loves journalism and is passionate about writing because she believes that words hold a greater power and can raise awareness on any issue.  

Josue I. Giron resides in Jersey City, NJ, where he will be a senior at Liberty High School. His interests vary–enjoys participating in Art Club, Improv Club, and Model United Nations. He looks forward to SJP and hopes his experience will help him enter the world of journalism.  

Jorge D. Gomez-Kobayashi lives in Jersey City, NJ and is a senior at Liberty High School. He finds Japanese culture and gaming very important to him, since throughout his life these things have factored into his personal development. He participates in various clubs such as Art and Chinese Club, and he participated in the LEAP Academic program. He finds journalism interesting because it serves as a platform for people to know what is going on in the world; he also finds it to be an intriguing, expressive style of writing. 

Diana Gonzalez-Castillo lives in Littlerock, CA and is a senior at SOAR High School. She is the leader of her school’s newspaper and Christian Club, a contributor to her school’s yearbook and Hispanic/Latino student union, and a mentor to younger students. She believes journalism is the best form of community service as "information and awareness enable a large number of people at once to make decisions that will help themselves and their communities.” 

Kimberly Gray lives in Martinsburg, WV and is a senior at Spring Mills High School. She is an environmental/animal/equality activist and is president of her school's Diversity Club. She believes that journalism is not just about writing articles or reporting events, but in fact so much more. Journalism is about being able to inspire, intrigue, and touch the reader's heart, all while unbiasedly informing the reader about important matters and issues, which is why she has such a passion for journalism.

Kiana Hunter was born and raised in the Windy City–Chicago, IL–and is a senior at Hansberry College Prep. Her interests are creative writing and student body government. She is interested in journalism because of her love of creative writing and her desire to inform the people of her generation about the various events going on locally and nationally that could impact their futures. 

Briana Jasso lives in Dallas, TX and is a senior at Molina High School. She co-founded the UNICEF club at her high school to advocate for children in war-torn countries and plays on her high school soccer team. Briana wants a career in journalism because she is passionate about social justice and believes she can raise awareness for mistreated groups through her writing.

HanYing Jiang lives in Madison, WI, and is a senior at Madison West High School. She is a varsity member of her school's Speech and Debate team and was a state semi-finalist in two speech categories, co-president of the Student Support Foundation, and a member of Green Club, National Honors Society, and Spanish Honors Society. She considers journalism to be the fourth branch of government, checking and holding those in power accountable while also raising awareness and evoking change. 

Claudia Kania lives in Burbank, IL and is a senior at Reavis High School. She is a published freelance author interested in international human rights discourse, political philosophy, and intersectional feminism. Claudia is also passionate about social protest poetry, which stands at the intersection of contemporary literature and modern political issues. Claudia is interested in journalism because she believes that it has the power to facilitate change through questioning and dissecting institutionalized social hierarchies, as well as exploring the unwritten narrative.  

Elyse Luecke lives in Saint Louis, MO and is a senior at Grand Center Arts Academy high school. She is managing editor of her school’s student news website and Expression yearbook, a soprano in advanced choir, a student in a college preparatory program, College Bound, and an active “Little Sister” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri program. In 2016, she attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. This year she attended the Communications High School Summer Institute at Washington University in Saint Louis. She believes journalism is an exceptional outlet for unknown stories to enter the limelight, being in the hands of a wide audience. She finds such passion in journalism as it is a way for acknowledging different perspectives. “The foundation of good journalism is truth, accuracy, and the ability to deeply understand others. It is a way to understand yourself, as you are making connections and building relationships.” 

Williams Mejia lives in New Brunswick, NJ and is a senior at New Brunswick High School. He is heavily involved in running and absolutely loves it. He also tries to volunteer as often as possible in 5K's, Special Olympics, and even at the local library. His interest in journalism stems from its unique ability to tell a story that everyone needs to hear. The importance and necessity of accurate journalism is one aspect that excites him. 

Takyra Moore lives in Cary, MS and is a senior at South Delta High School. She enjoys volunteering at her local veterinary clinic and tutoring the youth in her community. She wants to be a journalist because she wants to break out of her shell and project her voice through her writing. 

Erianis Perez lives in Milwaukee, WI and is a senior at South Division High School. The past school year she became more involved in her school as she started to participate in College Possible, a college readiness program, as well as YES ClubYouth Empower in the Strugglea multicultural social justice organization that fights for immigrants, students, and refugee rights. The two help her work in something she cares about: school and helping her community. In addition, she is interested in journalism because through it she is able to expose the truth behind issues affecting her community; as a journalist, she can give voice to those who do not have one. 

Danielle Quezada lives in San Bernardino, CA and is a senior at Cajon High School. She is heavily involved in Best Buddies, Academic Decathlon, and soccer. She also serves as a student board member for her school district. She is interested in journalism because she feels significant importance in having a genuine voice in society, now more than ever during these difficult times in the world.

Christopher Quintero lives in El Paso, TX and is a senior at Irvin High School. Christopher is heavily involved in National Honor Society, Class Council, UIL Mathematics, and Academic Decathlon. He enjoys exercising his leadership and public speaking skills while committing himself to selfless service within his community. As far as journalism goes, Christopher also enjoys being able to gather information and inform the public in an unbiased manner. Integrity is a principal of journalism that does not falter for him, especially when it comes to his writing. 

Joselin Rosales lives in Wapato, WA and is a senior at Wapato High School. She is an avid participant in various clubs offered at her school; her favorite being Book Club. The ability to share one’s thoughts about a book or even just have a discussion with your friends is a feeling like no other and Book Club offers just that. It is through this club that her love for journalism grew. With her ultimate goal being to help people, writing allows her to influence people in more ways than one. 

Tamara Sanchez lives in Waukegan, IL and is a senior at Cristo Rey St Martin College Prep. She enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community. She does this by serving as a Teen Juror, part of the organization of Nicasa. She is interested in journalism because she would like to be able to tell others stories. Also because it is a way to keep her community informed when they lack certain resources. 

Gabriella Santana lives in Bronx, NY and is a senior at the New York City Museum School. She believes in artistic freedom and the free flow of thinking through creative writing; she believes these to be essential to journalism. Active journaling and reading a variety of novels of a range of genres are skill building activities that assist her in furthering her interest in journalism. She believes that journalism shines a light onto what is not often expressed, and that journalism promotes conversation and provides an active source of educational insight. 

Jessica Simpson lives in Chicago, IL and is a senior at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center. She is interested in studying political science and journalism. She is the secretary of her school’s National Honor Society and a mentor in Girl Scouts. Jessica is interested in journalism because it is “a way to inform people about their world and is a product of our constitutional rights.” 

Tanya Solorzano lives in Bell Gardens, CA and is a senior at Bell Gardens High School. She serves as president of the Bell Gardens High School college preparatory program, College Bound Today, and provides tutoring for students after school all year long. She is interested in becoming a journalist to provide people with the information they need to be informed members of society, address social and political issues, and help their communities progress.

Kevin Song lives in Bronx, NY and is a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School. He remains a devoted foodie and voracious reader. You can find him walking the noisy city streets, book in hand, searching for the newest cheap eats. He enjoys writing in his spare time and hopes to explore the field of journalism because he is interested in how journalists take a very unique craft to their writing. 

Aleksandra Wicko lives in Chicago, IL and is a senior at Lane Tech High School. She is interested in government and international relations, which is why she loves being a part of UNICEF's Chicago Congressional Action Team. She also loves working with children, which is why she volunteers at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital and at the organization Dreams for Kids.  She is interested in journalism because it allows her to combine her many interests into one job and gives her a chance to share her views with a broader range of people.  

Yamilet Velez lives in Los Angeles, CA and attends James A. Garfield High School. She is a part of her school's Speech & Debate Team, Cross country, track and field and writes for her School-newspaper. Velez enjoys advocating for students' rights regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation and is an active member of a non-partisan organization known as CHIRLA. She intends to pursue journalism as a career in hopes of bringing awareness to economical, political and societal issues oppressing certain groups of society.