I am so proud of Heritage Academy Laveen’s hard-working inaugural class of journalism scholars!
In August, 28 scholars joined me to learn beginning journalism. It was a complicated time to start this new class. All of us were working online because of the high rate of COVID-19. Few of the scholars were used to reading news publications let alone writing news articles. And many scholars in the class were starting their very first semester at HAL — knowing whom to call for interviews was not at all intuitive.
As we begin the second semester of the class, I am excited to share a few examples of my scholars’ work. The assignment was simply to interview another HAL scholar and then write about it. The interview subject did not have to be with a football star or a class president. I told them I just wanted to read about interesting scholars doing interesting things.
I think they did a great job. I hope you enjoy this sample of their work.
Cathy Creno, Journalism and Yearbook teacher
Nailah Turkson: Good Citizen Winner — and Filmmaker
By Krista Cook and Kathy Tran
Freshman Nailah Turkson, 14, was one of Heritage Academy Laveen’s High School Good Citizen Award winners last semester.
Although she spent last semester as an online scholar, fellow students recognized her kindness and bubbly personality during Google Meets in classes including Honors English, Drama, Journalism, French, World History and more. Her teachers recognized her can-do attitude.
When journalism scholars were assigned to write about the 2020 election and political expression on the HAL campus, for instance, Nailah was the first to volunteer to interview Heritage Chief Executive Officer Jared Taylor about the subject. Afterward, she shared pages of notes with fellow scholars.
Despite her success online, Nailah said she is looking forward to January, when she will return to school in person.
“Honestly, I’m not a fan,” she said about online school. “A lot of the time I feel left out because I’m not at school.”
Although Nailah says her favorite subject is English because she loves to write, Nailah also has photography skills and is working on an independent film she hopes to release this summer.
The Laundromat is about a friendship between two teenage girls who meet after their clothes get mixed up.
“There isn’t one specific place we’re shooting,” she said. “We’ll be shooting in a couple different places, like a gas station and—you guessed it—a laundromat.”
Nailah also enjoys still photography and likes going on excursions with her father to take photos of places like Globe, Page, the Salt River and the Grand Canyon.
Heritage Academy Laveen is proud to call Nailah Turkson one of our scholars. If you know of any scholars who should be spotlighted, please contact Ms. Creno at cathryn@firstname.lastname@example.org.