Content & Programs Update: Fall 2021

A lot has happened since our last update over the summer, with new programs launching, stories published and a whole new crop of interns hired. 

Here are some of C&P’s highlights: 

  • Delivered two summer community health storytelling “bootcamps,” for 12 students new to journalism, with uniformly positive feedback-- the students’ only complaint was that they wanted more!
  • Published a spring housing workshop story in The Miami New Times, a review of the documentary “Cured” in The DC Line and a national-level story on youth activism in USA Today (a product of our collaboration with America’s Promise Alliance).
  • Two new full-time staffers started, as well as three interns! (See update below)

UHMP’s summer bootcamps-- a 2-week introduction to journalism, and a feeder for our longer workshops-- was a big success. We trained 12 students, and welcomed two of them back this fall to our workshop and independent writing groups, with a third moderating our recent Therapy Thursday session on back-to-school mental health.

Fall is off to a great start with our “Pandemic-era Youth Mental Health: The Way Forward” workshop, which launched October 4th with a group of nine students from five states attending sessions twice a week. The group will produce at least two feature stories and three videos about how schools across the country are responding to their students’ increased need for mental health services since the pandemic began.

D.C. Visual intern Jojo Brew out in the field with producer and instructor John Greco, formerly of Dateline: NBC and Discovery who now has his own production company. 

The workshop includes several firsts for UHMP:

  • Our first two students from Georgia, from Kennesaw and Locust Grove; 
  • For the first time, three students are working solely on videos that will accompany their team’s feature stories, reflecting a new focus on teaching and integrating multimedia journalism into our workshops and course offerings;
  • The addition of a video storytelling expert, Kaveh Rezaei, to our roster of instructors and mentor-editors. Rezaei, with assistance from UHMP Managing Editor Julianne Hill, is helping our video students conceive, produce and polish their videos.
  • We had so many outstanding candidates from the Miami area that mentor-editor Alan Gomez is working with a group of five students, all UHMP alums, to write a separate feature story on youth mental health.

Looking ahead, the content and programs team will soon be gearing up to begin work on our Sozosei Foundation-funded project, covering the decriminalization of mental illness (See the CEO’s note for more!).