Chicago Defender Charities relaunches Youth Media Program

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The Youth Media Program aims to inspire the next generation of journalists. (WLS)

The Chicago Defender Charities Youth Media Program, which connects students interested in journalism with professionals, has relaunched with the help of ABC7 with students from Providence St. Mel School.

From the studio to the classroom, the Youth Media Program aims to give a hands-on look into the world of journalism.

"They get to see the media environment first hand. They get to meet the top personalities, they get to see what goes on behind the scenes, they get to see things that they otherwise may not get to see and they are inspired by that," said Marc Sengstacke, Chicago Defender Charities executive director.

The program was discontinued almost 15 years ago. Since then, Sengstacke said he's been eager to bring the program back and believes now is the perfect time.

"We're trying to plant seeds in young people that will grow and keep them in positive activities throughout their lives," he said.

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ABC7 anchor Terrell Brown chatted with journalism student Ar-Raheem Payne, a Providence St. Mel High School senior.

The Defender Charities partnered with students in the journalism program at Providence St. Mel School, a school in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood.

Their teacher, Brian Ward, sees this as an opportunity of a lifetime.

"It's a cool program to be able to go in and meet personalities and meet people who are doing journalism," Ward said. "Meeting someone who is in that field they just gain so much more."

St. Mel senior Ar-Raheem Payne, who writes for the school's "Knightly News" newspaper, is one of the students in the program.

"In our journalism class we have a saying of, 'Don't play stupid.' So ask more and more questions if you don't know about a certain subject so I feel like journalism is a true love educational class," Payne said.

Payne got the chance to tour ABC7 and see how it's done first hand and plans to spread the word, back at school, about this special opportunity.

ABC7 appreciates the Chicago Defender for featuring this story in its paper. A big thanks to the Chicago Defender Charities and Providence St. Mel for choosing ABC7 to help with the relaunch.
Related Topics:
educationhigh schoolstudentschicago proudChicagoBronzevilleLoopEast Garfield Park
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