Since 2000, Scholastic Kid Reporters have covered "news for kids, by kids," and reported on current events for their peers. As we head into the 20th year of the program, we’re spotlighting some of our former Kid Reporters. We asked them what they learned by participating in Kids Press, and how they apply those skills now.
From interviewing the likes of Michelle Obama and Anderson Cooper to reporting on key cultural moments, these students discovered how powerful their voices can be by sharing stories with their unique perspectives. They’ve gone on to form their own organizations, win awards, study at top universities, and pursue careers in journalism. Read on to find out more about these young trailblazers.
Click on the name of each former Kid Reporter to read their Kids Press articles.
The NBC News producer applied to Kids Press after learning about the program in Junior Scholastic in 2003, and was selected to be a Kid Reporter the following year. Through Kids Press, he was able to interview elected officials, meet peers interested in journalism, and develop a mindset that he has “carried through to the rest of his life.” He now works on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, focusing on business and technology. Click here to listen to an episode of our Scholastic Reads podcast featuring some of our current and former Kid Reporters, including Michael.
Ainsley, who is an undergraduate at Princeton University, says that Kids Press allowed her to develop her writing and interviewing skills: “Being a part of the program elevated my writing style and prepared me to better structure my pieces to convey information in a clear, interesting, and eloquent manner.” She also noted that conducting interviews for her articles made her a confident speaker.
Pictured: President Obama meets with student reporters in the White House in 2014. Former Scholastic News Kid Reporter Ainsley Felter is pictured at left. (Photo courtesy of Pete Souza.)
Georgia, who reported from the Philippines, credits the program with giving her the push to pursue a career in journalism. She also picked up the skills to seek jobs and internships that further her interests. Georgia, who was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, now attends Stanford University in California.
The 11th grader says that she learned, as a Kid Reporter, how to be objective and represent events accurately. Having met inspiring role models through the program, Manat started her own nonprofit organization, Object, to connect young women to female leaders. She adds, “At our workshops, I use the interview skills I learned from Scholastic to conduct a fireside chat with the speaker. It’s been amazing to see how my learnings from Scholastic continue to manifest in my life today.” Her work has led her to be named a “Young Changemaker” by the non-governmental organization Ashoka. Manat will be able to share her wisdom with her younger brother, Munveer Singh, who will be a Kid Reporter this year!
Pictured: Manat with Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX. (Photo courtesy of SpaceX.)
Kyra is currently a freshman and Communications Fellow at Elon University in North Carolina. With her fellowship, she gets to have a hands-on journalism experience by going on media trips around the country. She was able to impress colleges with her Kids Press experience: “Every interview I went into, I was able to blow them away with my experience with Scholastic. I have always been so proud and grateful for my experience as a Kid Reporter, and it was a lot of fun reliving those moments and sharing them with new people.” Outside of school, Kyra has been working as a freelance writer and was published in Ms. magazine last winter. She also maintains a strong relationship with the Kids Press team, and has even worked with current Kid Reporter Nolan Pastore for a project on media literacy.
Adedayo loved traveling and attending major political conventions during her four years with Kids Press. She says that being a Kid Reporter helped her overcome nervousness and approach people for their interesting stories. And overcome her nerves she did, because she traveled to the White House to speak with Michelle Obama and to the United Nations to interview director Ava DuVernay! This year, Adedayo is going to be a peer tutor and tour guide at her high school, and her poetry will be published in an anthology.
Pictured: First Lady Michelle Obama joins Scholastic News Kid Reporters for a group photo following an interview in the Map Room of the White House, from left: Adedayo Perkovich, Skylar Yarter, Gabriel Ferris, Maxwell Surprenant, Courtney Pine, Erik Weibel, Manu Onteeru, and Stone Shen, October 6, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon.)
As a Kid Reporter for more than two years, Max had the opportunity to interview such influential figures as Joe Biden, Chelsea Clinton, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He also covered the 2016 U.S. elections, including the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “I've learned that the more I know, the more I care,” Max told us. “I believe it's important for youth to get informed and get involved because the issues we are facing affect us now and in the future.” Max has received 11 awards and two National Medals from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He now reports for the Los Angeles Times High School Insider program, covering art, sports, and politics.
As a Kid Reporter, Ryan wrote articles on presidential candidates, volunteer experiences, and climate change, among many other topics. He also interviewed James Corden, Trevor Noah, and Seth Myers. Now a high school freshman, Ryan has signed up to take broadcasting and journalism classes, and he hopes to be part of the news team at his school’s broadcast network. Ryan loved learning how to conduct interviews as a Kid Reporter and listening to other people’s stories.
Pictured: Ryan with The Late Late Show host James Corden. (Photo courtesy of Scholastic Kids Press.)
We’re excited to see what else these alumni will do! Meanwhile, keep an eye out for articles by the newest class of Kid Reporters at scholastic.com/kidspress.