ThreeSixty Journalism student Kai Sanchez will attend the prestigious Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) JCamp in Detroit this month. Sanchez, who will be a senior at Hiawatha Collegiate High School this fall, is one of 42 chosen for this year’s cohort.
AAJA JCamp is a national multicultural journalism program for high school students that, like ThreeSixty, strives to confront the lack of diversity in journalism. A rigorous application process is used to find a mix of students that represent the entire country.
“We are looking at leadership ability, passion and curiosity,” said former AAJA governing board member Neal Justin. “Diversity also plays a factor – and not only race. Geographical and economic backgrounds are considered, as well as sexual and political orientation.”
Sanchez has been a participant in ThreeSixty the past two years. She said ThreeSixty has given her the freedom to explore topics of interest, become a more genuine writer and to come out of her shell.
“I want to share my voice as a queer, Latinx youth living in Minnesota,” Sanchez said.
During the hands-on program week, students work on intensive projects that lead up to a reception with all-star journalists from around the country. In preparation, Sanchez has been researching JCamp guest speakers and getting acquainted with current events in Michigan.
“I hope to learn more about independence,” Sanchez said of her upcoming experience. “I’ll be in a state I’ve never been to. It will be scary but also fun being out in the field, doing research and meeting new people – not only the people I interview, but the other students I’ll be working with, giving insights on each other’s writing.”
As for her future, Sanchez plans on competing for the 2019 ThreeSixty Scholarship then attending the University of St. Thomas to study communication and journalism.