Student Voices Shine at Op-Ed Workshop

Op Ed Workshop Group 23
ThreeSixty Op-Ed Workshop participants pose with legendary columnist Rubén Rosario during the Op-Ed Workshop in fall 2023.

Student voices were front and center at ThreeSixty’s Fall Op-Ed Workshop, which was held Saturdays, Oct. 29, Nov. 4 and 11, 2023, at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences.

Seventeen students participated in the workshop and created opinion stories for publication.

“The best part about the Op-Ed Workshop is watching students grow in confidence and take pride in sharing their voice,” said Program Manager Theresa Malloy Lemickson. “This collection of stories is powerful and reflection of what’s on the mind of teens in the Twin Cities. They are stories that we are proud to share as well.”

Jamad Jamad said the workshop changed the way she thinks about sharing a difficult or hard opinion.

“It made me realize that sometimes the most effective way to change the minds of people are to appeal to their own relationship with the problem,” she said.

The workshop kicked off with featured guest speaker Rubén Rosario, retired Pioneer Press columnist.

The next week, students worked with professional Writing Coaches to write their stories, and refined them the last week with support from Editors. Working with the 20 volunteers over the two weeks was a highlight for students.

Nieyomi Adams reflected how her Writing Coached helped her make a stronger story.

“She pushed my boundaries on writing to find better and easier ways to say things,” she said, “and she gave good suggestions. She was overall really helpful.” 

Beyond the op-ed writing, students explored the ethics of Chat GPT, discussed coverage of the war in Gaza and pressure to post on social media. They also learned how to publish compelling images from North News leaders, David Pierini and Azhae’la Hanson.

“David and Azhae’la made me realize that if there’s a story I want to tell, I can tell it whether a paper picks it up or not,” said Keira McNiff. 

ThreeSixty students wrote their stories for publication. You can click below to read the final stories and learn about the volunteers who helped them.