by Kristina Domitrovich
This week kicked off the Youth Media Project, an MPB partnership project aimed at training young people with the core competency skills necessary to secure gainful employment in the local workforce. YMP’s mission is to teach students in the Jackson area about the media: how to properly produce and consume media. These 28 bright students are from varied backgrounds and demographics, including 13 schools in the Jackson Metro area, and YMP is looking great so far.
Throughout the week, students started writing biographies for each other and working on their group projects. In addition to starting their summer’s work and learning basic lessons in how to best produce content, they've had the opportunity to partake in several learning sessions and workshops with Donna Ladd, founder and continual advisor of YMP and co-founder of a local community publication in Jackson.
On Wednesday, July 27, the students went on a field trip to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. There they attended a “History is Lunch” discussion/lecture from Stephanie Clanton Rolph, author of “Resisting Equality: ‘The Citizens’ Council in Three Movements.” The students had their first opportunity to interview outside subjects and grow their personal network, all while finding inspiration for their projects.
Later that afternoon, students conducted interviews with each other for their biographies. Each student was assigned a partner to learn more about their background and personal expereinces. These pairs have conducted personal interviews to draft biographies about their partner. These biographies will be uploaded onto this year’s YMP website, jxnpulse.com, and should be finalized next week.
Throughout the summer, the students’ main project will be a comprehensive news package. These projects, one assigned to each group, will include a long-form story presented as a news article utilizing a solutions journalism approach, a documentary and a podcast. On Thursday, July 28, the students started solidifying their topics for each group’s project. This year, YMP wants the projects to encompass elements to be focused on dignity, mental health, stability, safety, ability to learn and opportunity, with an emphasis on career pathways, barriers to job seekers, mentorship, connecting job seekers to networks, and innovative career education models, within local schools and communities. We believe this year’s students have successfully chosen topics to cover these subjects.
Now that they have decided their package topics, they have already delegated certain group responsibilities amongst themselves, in addition to building a list of potential sources. Friday afternoon, each group started contacting sources, and will continue reaching out throughout the weekend.
You can follow along with their work this summer by going online to jxnpulse.com.