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September 5, 2010

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September 5, 2010

I began working with young writers, artists and photographers on a weekly basis in 1994. My involvement grew over time and now I give several hours each day to YJI. Working with students at Youth Journalism International is among the most rewarding things I've ever done in my life. These young people are bright, talented, compassionate and eager to learn. We set high expectations for them, from ethics to storytelling and they consistently deliver. Through serious news stories, feature writing and reviews as well as first person journaling about such diverse topics as high school life, Hurricane Katrina, family travel to an ancestral homeland and fasting for Ramadan, YJI students offer the world a new perspective. They are the future of journalism, a field which badly needs an infusion of good young people. But they are so much more. YJI students have also gone into law, medicine, teaching, homemaking, computer technology, social work and more. We are very proud of each of them. Many alumni stay involved and help younger students. No matter the field they choose, they all gain confidence in themselves by conducting interviews and writing powerful stories. They learn that they, too, have a voice, and they learn how to use it effectively. One of the most rewarding parts of leading this wonderful organization is seeing the many friendships that develop between YJI students around the globe. Without YJI, these young people would have a narrower world view and something would be missing from their lives -- the friends they met and the perspective they gained by getting to know young journalists in other countries, from cultures and religions other than their own. It's extremely gratifying to see understanding and then bonds of friendship develop between them. YJI students and YJI alumni have spirit, energy and great ideas. They give me great hope for the future and for a peaceful world. I can't imagine my life without them.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Some students enter YJI at an advanced level and do great work right away. We polish those skills and savor their triumphs. Others come with few skills in English, writing or journalism. Helping them learn and watching them grow is especially sweet.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have adequate funding so YJI's leaders could dedicate themselves full time to its deserving students instead of squeezing in volunteer hours while working another job. With new students weekly, YJI is ready to soar, but suffers from a lack of money.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the light bulb go on in students as they discover their voice, whether writing or interviewing. It's wonderful when they see the power they have to make a difference through words. I also love seeing friendships develop between students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the students and alumni and supporters of YJI are among the finest people in the world and are definitely my favorites! They go above and beyond in every way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build more bridges between people and nations. It would have staff around the world working directly with students. It would bring students from different nations together to work collaboratively on projects while promoting cross-cultural understanding.

Ways to make it better...

I can't imagine a better experience, except being able to dedicate myself full time to YJI and its amazing young people.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the need for funding. YJI's volunteer leaders must constantly make the difficult choice of how to spend their limited time - work with students now, or focus on raising money so they can work more with students in the future.

One thing I'd also say is that...

YJI is amazing because of the awesome people who are in it and who support it with their generous gifts. YJI is truly making the world a better place by building bridges between people and giving young people a voice. Thanks to all who make it possible!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 4, 2010

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September 4, 2010

In my country India, the awareness about journalism education at high school level, a stepping stone, is too low. I was meandering in my quest for guidance and I came across YJI. I think, YJI gave me more than just guidance, it came as a godsend. First of all, Jackie Majerus and Steve Collins are inspirational. Handling hundreds of students across the globe is no ordinary task. Secondly, the professional approach with the mix of values has incentivized journalism education. Thirdly, intra-organization interaction infuses motivation and a strong desire to perform. Although, we are miles away from each other, I feel that my editors are with me. Fourthly, YJI is globalisation incarnate. The fact that today I have friends in Afghanistan and US and potential friends all across the globe speaks for it. The diversity of views and ideas is really enriching. Finally, YJI has given a forum to the teens from across the globe and in the process tapped a huge resource.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in my own transformation. Movies like All The President's Men, State of Play, Broken Glass, One Fine Day could not do what YJI did for me. It instilled in me a romance with the profession.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

For me, YJI is sacrosanct. But I think having few more individuals to handle the work would enhance the organization.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that it has been my tryst with journalism. Interacting with so many people from different parts of world having diverse views is very enriching.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely supportive and helpful. Despite having hundreds of students, individual attention was given.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give TIME and NEWSWEEK a run for their money.

Ways to make it better...

we had more people to get the best out of the students.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

infrastructural constraints.

One thing I'd also say is that...

if YJI had more funds and a supporting staff, it'll do even better.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 29, 2010

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July 29, 2010

In 2008 I needed an internship for my high school, but opportunities for young journalists or reporters are extremely rare in my area. I searched everywhere for something that would work. One day, I found the Tattoo online and sent them an email asking to be involved. A few months later I heard back from YJI, which was a new organization at the time. I jumped at the chance to work with them and it has been great. Although I don't write as much as I used to, it has been wonderful writing articles and working with the other talented students involved in YJI. I don't think I could have had an experience like this anywhere else; you get to interact with kids from all over the world, do something you love, and feel like part of something amazing.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my writing. Jackie and Steve have helped improve how I write articles to make them more exciting for readers. I've also seen how YJI connects so many people in one organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand YJI so that it could help even more kids. If there were multiple headquarters all over the place, the reporters could meet and work together in person. That would require much more staff and funding though.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting constructive criticism on my writing so that I become a better journalist.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

so helpful, caring, attentive, and amazing. The volunteers are all extremely talented and the staff is always them for us.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do anything! With that much money, YJI could really accomplish a lot.

Ways to make it better...

I could have met everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, I live across the country and don't get back east much.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding and not being able to personally meet every volunteer.

One thing I'd also say is that...

YJI has come so far in the past 2 years and at the rate it is progressing, I'm excited to see where it will be in a few more years.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

July 7, 2010

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July 7, 2010

I am Mariechen Puchert, from South Africa. I started writing with YJI in 2008, my final year of high school. I have always loved writing and discovering YJI was like a dream come true. In 2009 I started my studies at Medical School and the ability to carry on writing for YJI enabled me to maintain my sanity to a large extent. There is very little space for creativity at med school and even though I may not be studying journalism, literature or law, writing is still integral to my life. YJI does not only take your pieces and publish them. The editors work with you from the moment you decide to write something. When you send them your piece, they edit it and send it back to you with comments and advice for future writing. Before joining I was a very good poetry and prose writer, but what I knew about journalism and objective reporting was limited to what I learnt in school. Two years later, those skills have been sharpened. A great thing about YJI is that everyone is connected via the internet and the group often does packages. In 2008 we did a package on the Beijing Olympics and the Presidential Elections in the USA. These kind of projects enabled us as well as our audience to experience a myriad of different views and effects in different countries. I believe this fosters international understanding and co-operation at a most crucial level. In June 2010, I travelled to North America and was hosted by YJI for two days. I got to meet many of the people involved with YJI - editors, journalists and alumni. I know that YJI has done this for their foreign students before and that they will do it again when possible. This is also a great growth experience for young journalists.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Improvement of my reporting skills. Improvement of ability to look objectively at a situation. Experience of writing group projects. Greater international understanding.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from all over the world, each with their own life experiences and views, with a passion for journalism.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Employ full-time staff, enabling them to have more frequent student contact and publish issues at a greater pace. They would also be able to seek more coverage for students in different media and they would be able to advertise.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

July 6, 2010

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July 6, 2010

Hi, I'm Nicole Megan Gounder from South Africa,and I'm currently a student reporter for Youth Journalism International. I joined YJI towards the mid-year of 2009.I was currently 6 months out of high school doing my first semester at university.Like any other varsity student, I was clueless as to what I wanted to do with my life, but YJI helped me realise that my true passion lies in media. It's not just an organisation for teen writers.It's much more than that. Jackie and Steve do a great job of getting to know us,which makes it easier to share our thoughts and stories with the rest of the world. Three years ago, I would have never imagined myself taking the journalism route. Youth Journalism International is a great platform for writers all across the globe to get to know each other,share their thoughts,cultures and news regardless of race,gender or nationality ! Behind this organsition are the most amazing mentors who help and guide you with the stories you have to share. It was a stepping stone for me and I'm sure it will be for future teen journalists!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The career aspect of my life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Making new friends throughout the world.Learning new writing skills

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AMAZING!! The most friendliest people i have ever come across

Ways to make it better...

-

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 28, 2010

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June 28, 2010

I never fail to feel inspired when I think about how far Youth Journalism International has come. It all started in 1994 with Jackie and Steve, two reporters in Bristol, Connecticut, who volunteered in their free time to teach local teens about journalism. That, in and of itself, would have been a tremendous achievement in a world where teens are often hard pressed to find an outlet for their creativity, intelligence, and ambition. But it soon became clear that the organization could – and should – become much more. Teens around the globe started reading American students’ work online and emailing requests to join. Seemingly overnight, YJI changed from a weekly journalism workshop in Connecticut into a global organization teaching students not just about reporting, but about the common bonds that unite all people across all national boundaries. Thanks to my involvement with YJI, I have been privileged to email, speak with and even meet young people from all over the world. I do not exaggerate when I say that nothing fills me with pride and hope for humanity’s future the way this organization and its students do. Certainly, students who work hard learn a lot about reporting and writing. But just as valuable, if not more so, are the intercultural friendships the group cultivates. I can think of no better forum than YJI for young people to teach each other about their respective worlds – about how they think, and feel, and live; about what makes us all different, but more importantly, about what makes us the same. And I can think of no better way than that for the world at large to begin working toward peace. It has been an honor to work with the bright, talented, kind young people who have made YJI a part of their lives. I hope they are as proud of themselves as their editors are of them, and I hope to work with them for many years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I improved my writing skills, won numerous awards, and made friends with local students as well as international ones. I've had unforgettable experiences, like interviewing young girls from Afghanistan who were visiting the U.S. to play soccer.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

YJI has passionate, hardworking directors and new enthusiastic students who want to join every day. If we had more financial resources, we could devote more time to working with students, and could teach more students than we are able to right now.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

making friends with other students, and watching new students enjoy that same experience.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

above all, kind and genuinely concerned for their students. Jackie and Steve are parents themselves, and are always protective of their young students. For many, they are like a second set of parents.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

arrange for international students to actually meet and work together in person more often. It could also pay the staff, so they could devote all their time to helping students, rather than just volunteering when they're not at work.

Ways to make it better...

there had been more resources available for travel, or just more time to devote to students.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding to do all the great things we would like to accomplish.

One thing I'd also say is that...

you can learn more about Youth Journalism International at www.youthjournalism.org.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 22, 2010

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June 22, 2010

Youth Journalism International is a platform for the new generation to evolve their voices from each corner of the globe; the voices that come with innovation, truth and opinions of youthfulness. YJI has been working to value the works of youth not only in the Journalism category, but in all other categories by spreading about their talent and their values effectively. YJI has been acting and would continue to bring cross cultural understanding between the youths of the nations which would definitely broaden up the scope of globalization. Since one of the core agenda for YJI has been focusing for a peaceful world through dialogue and understanding, it would certainly induce the new generation whom would act as the leaders of tomorrow to always consider the peacefulness of issues. As YJI gives awareness to the youth and world about the youth, it won’t be far away for YJI to become the world’s best source of information principally in regard to the youth’s perspective. I joined YJI in 2005 when I was in my teenage and I got amazed from the work of teens that had covered topics such as guidance for high school to issues of 9/11, biased journalism or travel articles. Initially I was naïve in writing, but the motivation and supports that were generously provided by the founders of the organization STEVE Collins and Jackie Majerus enriched me with a massive interest for writing and Journalism. With the great experiences and the mass of knowledge I have learned since I got associated with YJI, currently I feel proud for being listed as the member of the Board of directors of this great organization. My interest, support and loyalty would exist as long as the concept of YJI would exist.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expansion of my knowledge, expansion of my friend, understanding cross cultures,understanding more about the world, being globally involved, understanding Journalism and its ethics . and much much more.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The motivation, support and hope that always stays alive with the help of its founders and the ethic they have deployed within this organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly, supportive, encouraging, intellectual and knowledge sharing people .

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 20, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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June 20, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

I joined this organization at a young age. But right from the start, the board and staff helped me feel welcome and encouraged me with each and every one of my pieces. They also gave me numerous opportunities to write pieces and provided me with the means to access people and places I couldn't by myself. This is not like some paper set up so kids could just write what they want to. This is REAL, professional journalism that provides news by teens that teens can use. It more than adequately prepares adolescents for taking on a career in journalism. It also gives teens great experiences that they could not have anywhere else. Some of my highlights of working with Youth Journalism International have been sitting in the press box with big newspaper correspondents and TV Reporters at an Obama rally, talking with CT Democratic senatorial candidate Ned Lamont and interviewing CT Senator Joe Lieberman while riding on his tour bus; all of this before I even turned sixteen. No other organization could do that.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering myself by writing stories, taking photos and editing other people's work.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have them re-take my ID photo.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting political figures, famous artists, musicians and the like. And press credentials get you into museum openings and events for free and they allow you to skip ahead of the line at rallies.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Encouraging, helpful and enthusiastic, yet realistic with the type of stories I wrote.

Ways to make it better...

I wrote more stories.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 19, 2010

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June 19, 2010

From economic problems to serious ecological hazards happening in the world today, our quality of life as we know it is under constant threat. That's why it's refreshing and relieving to know, first hand, that there is an organization out there who devotes it's energy into a positive cause in the most genuine manner. Youth Journalism International is doing a wonderful public service by expanding the voice of journalism to sources you won't be able to find in your run of the mill, agenda driven media today. I have had the privilege to personally get to know the founders of YJI, and I am honored to say that they are great friends of mine. The work they have done so far should serve as a template for other nonprofit organizations on how to conduct themselves. With the economy on the brink of shambles, it's hard to trust a reliable source for anything without feeling like someone is out to rip you off for their own personal gain. YJI is as pure and genuine as it gets, as they bring light to voices and readers from all around the world of all walks of life. Their efforts in the global community should be commended, and they will always have my full support and loyalty to help with the group.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My teenage years I spent as writer under the guidance of YJI's founders. The experience they provided helped me tremendously in my life and there is no doubt that they've reached the lives of many people all around the world.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 12, 2010

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June 12, 2010

I'm Cara and I've been with YJI since September 2009. When I joined I wasn't sure what to expect, but it's been better than I could've ever imagined. I don't know any organization like this: truly committed to young people, journalism and, not at all least important, cultural exchange. It's not simply an organization that teaches young people about journalism and provides them with a place to publish their articles. It's so much more. It's about learning about yourself and the world, too. It's a way to break barriers and to make young people care about people who are thousands of miles away. And isn't that one of the things we need most in this age where divisions become ever deeper and fear creeps into everyones life in one way or another? Where will we be if we stop caring about the voices of people like us, whether they live right across the corner or in a place we'll never visit. It doesn't always just have to be doom and gloom and seriousness to have an impact. It might just as well be about sports and hobbies. The realization that other people share the same hopes for the future is one of the most precious gifts for a human being anywhere. This is exactly what YJI is doing: making people get together and start understanding each other. You don't have to agree with someone to respect and understand them. By giving young people a voice YJI helps build a world with more understanding. Jackie, Steve and Katie are amazing and committed people. I'm so glad there are people like them around. It means a lot to me they're so devoted to this organization and encourage their students to improve their skills. If I hadn't found YJI I may not know yet what I know now: I want to be a journalist. Without YJI I wouldn't have had this amazing experience. Joining YJI is one of my best decisions so far.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

become a really really powerful source of information and a platform for discussion and cultural exhange for young people around the world and bring more understanding to the world!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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