13 Teens on a Mission

Boyd Journalism Workshop 2018: 13 Teens on a Mission

In 21st century America, true journalism seems to be buried underneath accusations of fake news and biased stories. At the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop, 13 teenagers from across New Jersey came together to become better writers, better journalists and better people.

For almost nine days straight, the young writers worked on harnessing their skills and journalistic intuition in the classroom, in the Big Apple and down the Shore at the Asbury Park Press.

Here is the story of the 2018 Boyd Workshop students:

* First is Natalie Andreyev, a rising senior from Point Borough High School. She sees herself covering the National Hockey League on ESPN as a sports journalist. Andreyev is also a very talented singer and spends her nights listening to the Newsies soundtrack to practice for her school musical.     

* Next is Josephine Wu from Randolph High School where she will be entering her junior year. Though she enjoys journalism, she wants to go into English and see where her writing takes her. Her kindness makes it so no one can deny this happy ball of sunshine.

* Braedyn Speight also attends Randolph High School and will be going to her junior year as well. Seeing the Bloomberg offices was her favorite part of the NYC trip as she sees a future for herself in broadcast journalism. Speight’s sweet and dedicated nature makes it easy to talk to her about anything.

* Emili Kovell is going into her senior year at East Brunswick High School. As a year-round athlete in cross country, winter and spring track, she still finds time to make writing a priority. She wants to work at a publishing company one day and possibly write a book. Though she may not be the most outgoing of the group, her breathtaking writing speaks for itself.

* Aaliyah Khan goes to Warren Hills High School and will be a junior this coming school year. She sees herself as a news anchor where people can see her on national TV. The most fun thing about her is her constant and reassuring smile.

* Aidan McHenry is another Warren Hills High School student who will be a junior this fall. McHenry is interested in both sports and business reporting. He is known for being a huge sneakerhead and everyone in the workshop has heard him talk about not creasing his Jordan's. His sweet and hilarious personality makes him easy to get along with and his positive vibes are reflected in his writing as well.

* Ana Monteiro attends Science Park High School in Newark and is going to be a senior this year. She loves writing and aspires to write a book one day. Her only flaw is that she doesn't seem to see how beautiful she is, inside and out.

* Tiffannie Coy can be seen with her fellow senior at Science Park High School throughout the workshop. Coy is working to land a career at a major news organization as a writer. She works to stand out from the crowd with a prominent sense of self confidence.

* Sterling Bryant attends Franklin High School and will graduate in 2019. He intends to work for ESPN and other sports networks as a sports journalist. He may keep to himself most of the time, but his ambition emanates through his nights spent working with the professors to improve his digital project. Bryant's titanium silver Beats headphones and multi-textured outfits add to his flair.

* Jackson Memorial High School senior Crystal Durham can be seen socializing with all the students from the workshop and laughing hysterically at anything. She aspires to be a fashion journalist and sees herself hosting the Met Gala one day. Her voice shines through in both her fashion and her writing.

* Senior Mecca Watterman of Winslow Township High School is the most charismatic of the students by far. Despite her extroverted personality, Watterman wants to work behind the scenes in broadcast journalism writing scripts for prominent news anchors. Her determination is obvious due to the fact her high school is missing a school paper. Her optimism helped her change this setback to a unique point of view as she adds her outgoing tone to the melting pot of personality at the workshop.  

* Last but not least is the youngest of the group, sophomore Mateo Tomas of Piscataway High School. He is the most motivated of the students, with dreams to work for National Geographic, Vice and the New Yorker, as well as being a comic book writer. He is known for his various addictions, including Snapple peach iced tea (though he will settle for lemon iced tea from the vending machines), Pop Funko figurines and figuring out how to talk about his girlfriend in every conversation. His genuine and personable nature made him the heart of the program.

* I did not want to talk about myself because that is weird, but since I am part of the workshop, here's a quick run down. My name is Cassandra Vega and I am a rising junior at South Brunswick High School and I plan to be a journalist and news anchor before I run for president and open a comic book shop. 

These teenagers demonstrate a revitalized sense of awareness and dedication to bettering the world around them.

The 2018 team of teen journalists are diverse in more ways than one, with varying appearances, backgrounds and views on the world. Despite all their differences, their love for writing and passion for truth has connected them all for life as writers, journalists and people.