CT Public Learning/Journalism & Media Academy (JMA) junior Raegan Byrd is eagerly awaiting the start of this summer, but not just for the vacation.
During March of this year, Raegan was selected as one of 23 students accepted for the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab Academy, an all-expenses paid summer journalism immersion at PBS in Washington, D.C.
Aspiring young journalists are selected from pools of applicants from all around the country, and then are invited to D.C. to learn directly from PBS NewsHour professionals. Students engage in a “powerful form of journalistic inquiry, media production and student-centered learning that build critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, news literacy and communication skills.”
“We are thrilled to have Raegan join us this summer,” Elis Estrada, Director, Student Reporting Labs, PBS NewsHour.
Raegan, a native of Hartford, CT, expressed her excitement at finding out that she was selected to attend the program, emphasizing that she would use summer as an opportunity to make a name for herself. “Usually when people from urban areas do good, it’s not really recognized.” Raegan remarked. “But I’m not that type of person – so I like to put myself out there. Somebody is going to know my name.”
Raegan credits her academic mentors for encouraging her to pursue the program, as well as two specific educators who helped her with her audition video; JMA media production teacher Duane Pierre and CT Public Learning Director of Education Paul Pfeffer.
“Mr. Pierre and Mr. Pfeffer helped me put together how my scene should work, so it looks really good! I’ll admit, I didn’t think I was going to get chosen – but their help made me believe that I had a chance. So definitely big props to them for all their guidance!”
Having spent her entire high school experience learning the basics of media production at JMA, Raegan underscored her desire to use the summer as a way of building upon her established skill-sets.
“I want to learn the basics of my career, because I want to be a journalist and travel the world. That’s how I want to start, and I know PBS can give that start. And I feel like I should learn more of the basics than I’ve already learned at school. I have TV production, graphic design knowledge so maybe I can build upon that and show them what I can do.”
After her final year of high school next year, Raegan intends on attending an HBCU, an historically black college and university– with her top two choices being Clark Atlanta University and Howard University. In regards to her future down the road, Raegan has big aspirations for what she wants to accomplish.
“After graduation from college, I want to work as a journalist or somewhere else in communications. And then later in life I want to have my own TV channel.” Raegan declared. “Not my own TV show, because everyone has a TV show – an entire TV channel! I already have the name and design for it picked out.”
Raegan says she plans on naming her channel “Keeping it 100” – stylized after the popular emoji – and that her channel will be outlet for authentic stories & passionate civil discourse.
About Connecticut Public:
Connecticut Public is home to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR), as well as Connecticut Public Learning. Together, Connecticut Public serves nearly one million citizens each month through Connecticut Public Radio and Connecticut Public Television, as well as through our many digital and online platforms. Connecticut Public is also home to Connecticut Public Learning, which offers direct service education to teens, adults and veterans in digital media, and provides educational programming on television, radio and online and in the classroom. Through our mission to inform, educate and inspire the people of Connecticut, we connect people of all ages to high quality journalism, storytelling, education and experiences, and amplify the voices of our diverse communities. Connecticut Public is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with an $19 million annual budget, funded primarily through community support from individuals, foundations, and corporate sponsors.
For more information on the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab Academy, please visit the following link:
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