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A high school student conducts an interview during the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop at Point Park. Photo | Christopher Rolinson
High school student Quinton Evans interviews co-director Olga George during the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop.

Avery McCoy, a junior at Oakland Catholic High School, enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour at WPXI-TV.

Woodland Hills High School senior Jasmine Beltran gained practical experience in the journalism field learning writing and interviewing skills.

And Teodora Dillard, a freshman at the University of Central Florida, learned how to dress professionally during a shopping trip to JCPenney.

All three took part in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation's Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop for high school students and recent graduates, hosted at Point Park, Aug. 3-10. The goal of the workshop is to encourage young adults from diverse backgrounds to explore a career in journalism.

Led by Olga George, assignment desk editor at KDKA-TV, and Chris Moore, a broadcaster on WQED-TV, KDKA-Radio and PCNC, the week-long interactive sessions focused on news and feature writing, copy editing, interviewing, news gathering, broadcasting and photography.

"Two of my professors - Helen Fallon and Joan Williams-Giuliani - taught me to push myself, and I'll never forget that," said George, a graduate of the journalism program at Point Park. "At some point in their lives, someone told these students that 'they can't,' and I'm here to change that."

A group of 28 students had the opportunity to network and train with members of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the New Pittsburgh Courier, KDKA-TV, WPXI-TV, WTAE-TV, WQED-TV, KQV radio, AURN, Sheridan Broadcasting and others.

"I met so many professionals who will influence my career," said Temperance Surgest, a junior at Agora Cyber Charter School. "This workshop was fun, hard and very rewarding."

Demetrius Allen-Green, a senior at Westinghouse High School, said he chose to attend the media workshop to determine whether he wanted to pursue a career in journalism.

"I recommend this workshop to all aspiring journalists because it is challenging, educational and real. I'm looking forward to applying the skills I learned to hopefully become a famous on-air personality one day," remarked Allen-Green.

Added George, "we teach students how to believe in themselves. By the end of the workshop, our goal is for our students to know that 'they can and they will.'"

The Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop is free to high school students throughout the nation, though preference is given to Pittsburgh-area students.


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