May 17, 2018
Jersey Village High School junior Andrea Zagal works on her portfolio that she submitted to the Asian American Journalists Association for consideration to the association’s Summer JCamp. Zagal was among the 52 high school students from across the nation to be selected for the weeklong program at Wayne State University in Detroit. (Photo by Kelly Hernandez, Jersey Village HS)
By Kelly Hernandez, Jersey Village HS
May 17, 2018—Jersey Village High School junior and yearbook co-editor Andrea Zagal has been selected as one of 52 students from across the United States to attend the Asian American Journalists Association’s Summer JCamp, a weeklong program to be held July 30 until August 4 at Wayne State University.
“I have never applied to any journalism programs before, so being accepted was a huge excitement for me,” Zagal said. “By going to this journalism camp, I will be introduced to new cultures and ideas, thus improving my journalistic skills.”
JCamp is an all-expenses-paid program with travel, meals and lodging covered by AAJA donors. The association partners with the Wayne State University Department of Communication in Detroit, and is valued at over $3,000.
“My adviser, Mrs. (Margie) Comstock, introduced me to the contest and she helped me put together my portfolio,” Zagal said. “When I told my parents about the contest, they were immensely proud of me and how I was putting all my effort into things that would benefit me in the future.”
Jersey Village High School junior Andrea Zagal (left) talks with photographer John Moore, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, at the state’s Interscholastic League Press Conference. Zagal was selected to attend a weeklong summer camp geared to enhance her skills as a student journalist and as a future professional journalist. (Photo by Nallely Lopez, Jersey Village HS)
The goal for AAJA is to develop the next generation of journalists. The six-day camp will bring a multicultural group of high school students from across to nation to sharpen their journalist skills and work together to create new friendships.
“I’m very excited about meeting new people because I’ll be introduced to new cultures as well and it will benefit me as a journalist to have this opportunity,” Zagal said. “I’m most excited to meet well-known journalists and be mentored by them, as well learn new techniques and improve my journalistic skills.”
The Asian American Journalist Association welcomes applicants from all students regardless of race, ethnicity, country or origin. Zagal said she spent an entire month deciding what to put on her portfolio and what to write her essay about.
“The program was very adamant about different cultures, so I wrote my essay about my Hispanic background and the difficulties my parents went through for me to have a better life,” she said.
In addition to serving as yearbook co-editor, Zagal also participates in the National Honor Society, Color Guard, Winter Guard, Presidents’ Club, CFISD High School Journalism Network, and Quill and Scroll.
“She has been the incentive and stimulus for me this year,” Comstock said. “Her attitude, work ethic, her leadership, her personality, her perseverance and her strength give me the ability to power up when I feel exasperation with others that do not have her drive and love for student press.”