AAJA Selects Student Leaders for JCamp Class of 2014

Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) selected 42 diverse high school students out of a record pool of 320 submissions from across the nation to participate in its 14th annual JCamp this summer. Emerson College will host JCamp from July 29 to August 3, 2014. JCamp is a six-day multicultural journalism training program for high school students made possible largely by the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Led by top professionals in the journalism industry, students will get hands-on training in writing, photography, television broadcasting, online media and reporting.

The importance of diversity in the newsroom and in media coverage, the core of JCamp’s values, is key to the camp’s curriculum where students will explore and lead discussions. “JCamp gives students confidence as they engage with peers, working journalists and future mentors,” said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “I can’t think of a better program that allows teens to learn from the top writers and broadcast producers. The Casey Foundation believes strongly in giving young people a voice, increasing their opportunities for future leadership and making a strong connection to the community.”

JCamp has graduated more than 500 students since its first year in 2001. “Many of our JCamp alums have gone on to be industry rockstars,” said Paul Cheung, president of AAJA. Jeff Orlowski (2001) became a documentary film-maker whose “Chasing Ice” project received a 2013 Academy Award nomination. Arelis Hernandez (2004) received ASNE’s 2013 Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity. Sandhya Kambhampati (2008) was named Outstanding Overall Senior in 2013 by E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Hailey Lee (2008) was one of four NBC Production Fellows selected nationwide in 2012 and is currently serving as a USA Today’s collegiate correspondent.

With the success of JCamp 2013, directors and faculty all return to lead this year’s program:

  • Clea Benson, reporter for Bloomberg News,
  • Neal Justin, TV critic for Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Lorene Yue, reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business

Other returning JCamp staff include:

  • Bobby Caina Calvan, freelance reporter
  • Paul Cheung, director of interactive & digital news production for Associated Press and president of AAJA
  • Kyndell Harkness, photographer for Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Arelis Hernandez (2004), political reporter for Washington Post
  • Caridad Hernandez, executive producer for investigations and special projects of CBS4 in Miami
  • Richard Lui, anchor for NBC News/MSNBC
  • Timmy Huynh (2005), photo editor for Wall Street Journal–joins the JCamp 2014 faculty for the first time

JCamp is made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, Dow Jones Foundation, Dow Jones News Fund, General Motors and NBC. Speakers will include industry leaders from Washington Post, Boston Globe, CBS, CNN and Bloomberg.

AAJA welcomes the following students to JCamp 2014,

Name School City
Amee Apedo Brooklyn High School of the Arts Brooklyn, NY
Gilman Bagga St. Francis School Louisville, KY
Fidelity Ballmer Foothill Technology High School Ventura, CA
Olivia Berry Grant High School Portland, OR
Frank Boudon Troy High School Troy, MI
Sania Chandrani Parkview High School Liburn, GA
Joyce Chen Elkins High School Missouri City, TX
Max Cho Harvard Westlake School Studio City, CA
Emily Choi Ardsley High School Ardsley, NY
Bradley Credit Bishop McNamara High School Forestville, MD
Lauryn Duncan Rufus King International School Milwaukee, WI
Shayna Engdahl East High School Cheyenne, WY
Raul Espana Lane Technical College Preparatory High School Chicago, IL
BrieAnna Frank Maryvale High School Phoenix, AZ
Ivana Giang Lakota East High School Liberty Township, OH
Jacob Han Troy High School Fullerton, CA
Doni Holloway Scotland Early College High School Laurinburg, NC
Amina Ibrahim Franklin High School Seattle, WA
Alexander Jen Torrey Pines High School San Diego, CA
Nia Johnson KIPP King Collegiate San Lorenzo, CA
Janie Kim Princeton High School Princeton, NJ
Aidan Langston Saint Ann’s School Brooklyn, NY
Alex Lo Cupertino High School Cupertino, CA
Amir McCormick McLean High School McLean, VA
Alexanna Nathan Punahou School Honolulu, HI
Devin Newby Black River Falls High School Black River Falls, WI
Daniel Nguyen Central High School Springfield, MO
Thomas Oide Davis Senior High School Davis, CA
Ramses A. Ovalles Reading Senior High School Reading, PA
Ana Perez Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Van Nuys, CA
Kyle Phox Hayfield Secondary School Alexandria, VA
Julia Poe Shawnee Mission East High School Prairie Village, KS
Andrea Ramirez Angulo La Paz Community School  Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
Andrew Rhee American International School of Vienna Vienna, Austria
Ricardo Sanchez Osceola County School for the Arts Kissimmee, FL
Mona Sharaf Duke Ellington School of the Arts Washington, D.C.
Sheila Raghavendran William Mason High School Mason, OH
Leah Yared Rockville High School Rockville, MD
Jacob Youngblood Marquette University High School Milwaukee, WI
Amira Warren-Yearby St. Louis Park Sr. High School St. Louis Park, MN
Claudia Zamora A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts West Palm Beach, FL
Jason Zhang The Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, NJ




Dow Jones News Fund






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Sponsoring Chapters

 AAJA Minnesota 

AAJA Chicago

AAJA Washington, D.C.

AAJA Hawaii 

AAJA Sacramento

Sponsoring Members

Lorene Yue

Joe Grimm

Cover photo courtesy of AP Images.