By Frances Gunn, El Paso High School
On Monday, October 9th, nine El Paso teens filed into the McCall center, located on 3231 Wyoming Ave, ready to learn about journalism and black history. However, this camp turned out to be much more than they could have imagined. Along with meeting new people from different schools, these teens learned valuable lessons regarding teamwork and what it takes to create a newspaper, from the ground up.
Loryam Soto Aguilar, a freshman at Parkland High school said, “I wanted to know what it felt like working in something journalism related, especially since before this, I didn’t know much about it or what people did in journalism. It always interested me in some way, and I just wanted to learn more about it.”
She wasn’t the only one who had a unique experience. A newspaper is a major publication for high school students, a thought that’s reflected widely across the camp.
“My experience in this camp, while working with students from other districts and schools has been great. I’ve learned that everyone has their own unique abilities to work, and I love to see such a variety between students,” Emilio Escarcega, a freshman from Parkland High School said. “I’ve also gotten to know some of them on a closer level and I feel like that was the whole purpose of this camp; to get to know and understand each other.”
These kinds of major publications really make an impact on students-there are valuable lessons derived from this camp.
“My biggest take-away was the ability to form a feature article and understand how a journalist works,” Emilio said.
This camp attracted a diverse student body with an interest in various sports, academics and clubs for a truly multidisciplined group.
“I am in the tennis team at my school, along with the orchestra. I am also part of the El Paso Holocaust Museum’s Youth Council,” Lucia Haugh, a sophomore at El Paso High School, said.
As different as these students may be, in the end, they accomplished their goal in a rewarding experience. Not only this, but they made new friends, and learned about the publication process.
“The most rewarding part of the camp was how it is possible to put an eight-page newspaper together in a week. We’re here for a few hours a day, and yet, we’re putting together this newspaper. It’s just amazing, the kinds of things we’re capable of,” Frances Gunn, a sophomore at El Paso High School, said.
This story was produced as part of the 2023 High School Journalism Camp at the McCall Center. The center hosted a one-week journalism camp where El Paso high school students publlished a special edition of The Good Neighbor Interpreter, a regional newspaper that McCall Center founder Leona Ford Washington once published with news about the Black community. The El Paso History museum sponsored the camp as part of the city’s 150th anniversary this year.