Student Leaders Selected for JCamp Class of 2016

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - April 20, 2016) - The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) selected 42 high school students from a diverse pool of applicants from across the United States to participate in its signature student program, JCamp, which will celebrate its 16th anniversary in 2016.

JCamp will take place August 1 - 6, 2016 and will be hosted for the third year by the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs in Washington, DC. JCamp is a six-day multicultural journalism training program for freshmen, sophomores and juniors in high school who attend the camp at no cost thanks in large part to the support of donors such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other sponsors.

"We have been proud to support JCamp for the past 12 years," said Sue Lin Chong, senior communications manager at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "We value JCamp as the country's premier opportunity that gives teens the chance to learn from the best professionals in journalism. It has been exciting to meet scores of students who have produced outstanding reporting, social media and broadcast stories as a result of their training. JCamp's work aligns with the Casey Foundation's belief that young people need a voice so they can increase their opportunities for future leadership and make a strong connection to the community."

Professional journalists will serve as faculty mentors to the students, who will receive hands-on training in writing, reporting, photography, broadcast and online media. Among JCamp's core values are the importance of diversity in the newsroom and in media coverage, as well as the value of cross-cultural communication skills, networking and the fundamentals of leadership and collaboration.

Over 600 students have graduated from JCamp since 2001. "We are thrilled to host JCamp in our classrooms again this year," said Frank Sesno, director of GW's School of Media and Public Affairs. "We share a vision with the AAJA that journalism professionals must reflect the diversity of our global community and bring cultural perspective into their roles of informing the public. We're happy to help JCamp provide this amazing learning opportunity to high school students who will hopefully become the next generation of media professionals."

Arelis Hernandez, political reporter for The Washington Post, attended JCamp in 2004 during the program's first year at GW. She will join Clea Benson, deputy editor for Politico Pro, and Neal Justin, TV critic for The Minneapolis Star Tribune as co-directors of JCamp.

"JCamp's class of 2016 class reflects the depth of talent, diversity and curiosity that the program has come to attract from applicants in the more than 15 years of its existence," said Hernandez. "JCamp has flourished and prepared some of the most outstanding high school journalists in the country to become the next generation of industry leaders. As a 2004 graduate of the program, my passion for journalism was ignited at 16 years old and continues to burn today. That is the magic of JCamp. It's more than a resume-filling summer program; it is a life-changing experience that challenges teenagers to dig deep within themselves to find what drives them, and ultimately lead in whatever field they pursue."

AAJA is proud to accept the following students to JCamp 2016:

Beatriz Aguilar (Godinez Fundamental High School -- Santa Ana, CA)
James Bikales (Lincoln High School -- Portland, OR)
Jessica Bond (Kenwood Academy -- Chicago, IL)
Anna Callahan (Brunswick High School -- Brunswick, ME)
Isaac Chizhik (Mt. Everest Academy -- San Diego, CA)
Destani Cooksey (Grandview High School -- Grandview, MO)
Michael del Rosario (Mundelein High School -- Mundelein, IL)
Charlie Dodge (Temple City High School -- Temple City, CA)
Kali Duffy (New World School of the Arts -- Miami, FL)
Danielle Egan (Tamalpais High School -- Mill Valley, CA)
Sarah Fernandez (Green Valley High School -- Henderson, NV)
Nia Gordon (Beacon School -- New York, NY)
Megan Henry (Allakaket School -- Allakaket, AK)
Orion Huang (Mills High School -- Millbrae, CA)
Kaitlin Joshua (Madison Central High School -- Madison, MS)
Paul Kim (The Lovett School -- Atlanta, GA)
Alexander Le (Sherwood High School -- Sandy Spring, MD)
Jack Lee (Conestoga High School -- Berwyn, PA)
Andrew Liang (Johns Creek High School -- Johns Creek, GA)
Shuge Luo (Cupertino High School -- Cupertino, CA)
Ramishah Maruf (Coral Springs High School -- Coral Springs, FL)
Nicholas Michael (South Pasadena High School -- South Pasadena, CA)
Madison Park (Blackfoot High School -- Blackfoot, ID)
Alexis Queen (Fort Myers High School -- Fort Myers, FL)
Catherine "Nina" Raneses (West Potomac High School -- Alexandria, VA)
Viviana Santillan (Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts -- Los Angeles, CA)
Abraham Seldowitz (Eleanor Roosevelt High School -- New York, NY)
Joseph Sexton (McNair Academic High School -- Jersey City, NJ)
Emma Stiefel (Lakota East High School -- Liberty Township, OH)
Graham Swaney (Mount Mansfield Union High School -- Jericho, VT)
Aalia Thomas (Vistamar School -- El Segundo, CA)
Ellie Toler (Marquette High School -- Chesterfield, MO)
Ivy Truong (Belleville East High School -- Belleville, IL)
Elliot Wailoo (Princeton High School -- Princeton, NJ)
Michael Wang (Dreyfoos School of the Arts -- West Palm Beach, FL)
Stephanie Wang (Peters Township High School -- McMurray, PA)
Nina Wells (Springfield High School -- Springfield, OH)
Ramyia Wendt (Winston Churchill High School -- Eugene, OR)
Katharina Wolf (Timber Creek High School -- Orlando, FL)
Henry Wong (Bellbrook High School -- Bellbrook, OH)
Mina Yuan (Wayzata High School -- Plymouth, MN)
Henry Zapata (The Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce -- New York, NY)

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,700 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA's mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, along with the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and the Association for LGBT Journalists (NLGJA). For more information about AAJA, visit

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Kathy Chow
AAJA Executive Director
415-346-2051 ext 106