Discover journalism. Develop your future. Dive into Boston.

For six weeks, Teens in Print’s Summer Journalism Institute brings curious high school students to the campus of Emerson College for a hands-on multimedia journalism experience.


From Snapchat, to Twitter, to Buzzfeed, news is everywhere you look. Your generation is the first to have 24/7 access to everything that’s going on in the world—but that comes with a unique set of challenges. With social media amplifying misinformation and the popularization of the phrase “fake news,” it can be tempting to tune out the noise completely.

However, in the age of the internet, journalism is more important than ever before. Journalists are often called “gatekeepers”—they determine which stories deserve attention, and whose voices get heard. In a world where we have endless information at our fingertips, journalists have the power to determine what we know and whether we care. As a journalist this summer, you’ll get to test out that power—and you’ll leave with sharpened media analysis skills, something you’ll be able to apply in the future whether you’re a reporter on the White House beat, or simply reading your news app on the T.

At Teens in Print’s Summer Journalism Institute (SJI), you’ll learn everything you need to know to critically analyze today’s news stories and create your own. Our team of professional journalists will teach you to interview government officials, craft a perfect tweet, and find a story when you’re just walking around the city. You’ll learn about journalism’s checkered history, from the heroic reporters who helped impeach a president, to the not-so-ethical journalists who were fired for publishing lies. By the end of the six week program, you will walk away with a deep understanding of journalism, plus an all-important byline, in the form of a print article, a photo series, a video, or a podcast.

SJI is a dynamic program, and every day looks a little different. Here is a sample of what you might experience:

SJI Summer Journalism Institute In the morning, you’ll get a chance to sit down and read the news as you eat a free breakfast. The day’s schedule will begin with a group discussion about the news, whether that’s a headline you thought was misleading, or a story with details you don’t quite understand. After that, you’ll participate in a media literacy or journalism writing workshop, to help sharpen your skills.

SJI Summer Journalism Institute After an hour long lunch break, during which you’re encouraged to leave campus and explore the city, you’ll take on an afternoon project. Often, that’ll be researching and drafting your article, shooting b-roll for your video, or plotting out an interview for your podcast. Other times, though, the afternoon might be consumed by a spontaneous, on-the-ground reporting assignment, a talk from a local professional journalist, or a debate about current events.

SJI Summer Journalism Institute Each Wednesday, you’ll also get the chance to participate in a job shadow experience, visiting a professional workplace in Boston and networking with adults in fields like marketing, law, medicine, and finance.

SJI Summer Journalism Institute Instructor Carla GualdronCarla Gualdron, Bilingual Journalist 

Carla is Teen in Print’s Program Director. She facilitates SJI’s day-to-day workshops and provides one-on-one writing mentorship. Her story with WriteBoston is a quintessential one of things coming full circle. As a sophomore in high school, she joined the Teens in Print newspaper as a staff writer. That feeling of accomplishment in seeing her name in print sent her on a quest to become to journalist. Carla attended Emerson College where she earned her degree in print journalism. Since then, Carla has been published in the Boston Herald, El Mundo newspaper, and The Enterprise.

SJI Summer Journalism Institute Instructor Sarah Robbins

Sarah Robbins, Poet & Scholar

Sarah Robbins is Teens in Print’s College and Career Readiness Coordinator. Before joining TiP, she graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in English and creative writing. She began writing poetry in the 4th grade and has continued honing her skills in poetry and fiction ever since. After graduating, she moved to Boston to work as an AmeriCorp member in a sixth grade classroom. There she discovered a passion for helping students find their own voices in fiction, poetry, and prose. Now, she uses her experience with creative writing to help students craft the college essays of their dreams.

Applications for SJI 2019 are closed. Consider joining us next summer!

SJI is proud to be part of the City of Boston’s summer jobs program. To apply to be paid through the City, you must be legally permitted to work in the U.S., be between the ages of 15 and 19, and register with BCYF Successlink. All participants hired through Successlink can earn a paycheck of up to $300 a week. Full details about application requirements can be found on the BCYF website.

Once you have registered (or updated your existing student profile) on Successlink, you must select Teen in Print’s Summer Journalism Institute as your desired work site and apply for SJI using our google form. All Successlink candidates who select SJI as their desired placement will then be invited into the WriteBoston office for an in-person interview.

After a successful interview, students will be notified by BCYF with an offer and will then be required to complete onboarding paperwork at the BCYF office in Mission Hill. Required documentation to receive a paycheck include the following: proof of US citizenship or alien resident status; presentation of original social security card; MA youth employment permit for students under 18; proof of school enrollment and proof of Boston residency.

Students who do not meet the BCFY Successlink requirements but are still interested in applying to the program may receive community service hours in place of a paycheck for their attendance at SJI. If you are interested in joining but do not meet the Sucesslink eligibility requirements, please email the TiP Program Director.

Who participates in SJI?
Each year, we welcome 35 to 40 teens who lives in Boston and will be attending high school in September. These teens come from a vast array of neighborhoods and attend dozens of different schools across the city. Approximately 40% of our participants speak a language other than English at home.

When does SJI take place? 
The Institute runs for six weeks, July 8 to August 16, Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. with an hour for lunch. We ask that all participants are able to commit to attending all six weeks of programming.

Where is SJI held? 
This year, SJI will be hosted at Emerson College in downtown Boston. Students commute to and from the college daily with a free bus pass that is provided to each participant.

Why should I join? 
Earning a byline is hard, even for adult professional journalists. But after just six weeks in the Summer Journalism Institute, you’ll be published in Boston’s only citywide high school newspaper, with a circulation of 15,000 copies across the city. When you write with Teens in Print, your articles are also featured and archived on our website, meaning what you produce with us, stays online forever. Having a publication on your resume will help you stand out for other professional opportunities— such as colleges and internship applications. Past participants have talked about their experience with SJI in job interviews, asked SJI mentors for feedback on their college essays and requested recommendation letters.

How do I get paid? 
Participants will receive a bi-weekly paycheck of up to $300 per week through the City’s Summer Jobs program. Direct deposit is not available.

Do I need to have experience in journalism to join? 
No. We do not expect participants to have experience in journalism prior to joining our program. We look for participants who are curious about the world, passionate about something and ready to learn.  

What if I don’t have a laptop computer that I can bring? 
While  students are free to bring their own computer, we have laptops available for students to borrow during the summer. Students who borrow technology will be asked to sign a contract along with their parent/guardian.

If I don’t have a lot of writing experience, is SJI for me? 
Whether you’re a published poet or you’ve never written a word, our mentor team at SJI will meet you where you are. Our job is to push you to grow as a writer – you just need to be excited about telling your story, and willing to practice writing every day.

While everyone will be required to write in some capacity, we’re open to having students produce finished products that aren’t explicitly writing, such as podcasts or photojournalism series. 

Read the current issue of Teens in Print.

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