Editor’s Corner: Growing and improving

TAKE 50 METRO-AREA high school students, bring them to the University of St. Thomas for summer journalism camps, and what do you have?

For starters, a bigger magazine.

Inside this issue of ThreeSixty Magazine, you’ll see more than 40 bylined stories and essays from grad­uates of this summer’s ThreeSixty Non-Residential and Residential journalism camps, as well as from two promising young ThreeSixty interns (also former ThreeSixty campers themselves) and from another former ThreeSixty standout.

For comparison’s sake, there were 24 stories in the May-June issue. In the issue before that, 29.

Why so many more stories this time? It’s simple. We’re growing.

Not only did we host two summer journalism camps at UST in St. Paul (per usual), but we also increased our size, nearly doubling the number of students from the previous year’s camps (27 total). This rapid growth allowed us to reach and teach more diverse teenagers than ever before. About 90 percent of our summer camp students were individuals of color.

Summing up the summer into a few sentences is no easy task – so, of course, I’ll try to do it in one: We had a lot of fun, but we worked hard, too.

Students in our summer camps learned the fundamentals of journal­ism, from interviewing to writing, ethics to social media. They wrote (and wrote, and wrote some more), each diving into a piece that had the opportunity to be published.

They interviewed others, whether it was a ThreeSixty camper or a stranger on the UST campus; a nutri­tionist who could speak about the ‘freshman 15’ (page 12) or a former Division I athlete who could speak about choosing a different path after college (page 13). They also heard from and worked with more than 40 gracious volunteers, whom we can’t thank enough for the support.

Did I mention they wrote a bunch? Students in the Non-Residential Journalism Camp in June were tasked with writing a “personal essay,” or a compelling narrative about their life. We believe each student who comes through our doors has a story to tell, and this camp provided those students with an outlet to do so (pages 4-7, 23-30).

In the Residential Journalism Camp in July, pairs of students were each given a story to report under the theme, “Preparing for life after high school.” The 24 students in the camp wrote about everything from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s unique work study program (page 20) to athletes making decisions on which college to choose (page 21); from a feature on a local cosmetol­ogy school (page 15) to a story on how to write the best college essay (page 14). All of these stories also can be found in the Sept. 5 edition of the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

The magazine you’re holding in your hands (assuming you’re not read­ing this online) is the result of a beauti­ful mixture of students’ experiences this summer: stories and photos, headlines and deadlines, ambition and anxiety, challenges and successes.

It also symbolizes what all of us at ThreeSixty – from the staff to the students – are trying to achieve as we move into a new school year: Growing and improving in every­thing we do.