nother summer, another adjustment to pandemic disruption. Our July 2022 Young Voices Media Project took place once more in hybrid form, as we met with our student journalists during the mornings and then turned them loose in the afternoons to pursue their writing projects. See their stories below.

We threw them into the fire on the second day, taking them to a Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting to cover a real live story. It was a day of celebration for numerous agencies and people who had been involved in gathering signatures to place a measure on the local ballot to fund the Safe, Affordable Quality Child Care Act.

Our student journalists plunged ahead and did interviews outside the board chambers, and then moved inside to attend the portion of the meeting where the supervisors officially accepted the measure for inclusion on the ballot for this November.

Our students, Richard Rojas-Rangel and Estrella Zarate-Pacheco, wrote about that as well as topics of their choosing during the 10-day workshop, held for the second year at Salinas High School.

We also talked to them about a variety of topics connected to journalism — the nuts-and-bolts things like how to conduct an interview, how to talk to people, ways of doing research, how to take photos and how to write a news story — as well as issues like journalistic ethics, fake and misleading news, and whether or not to include opinion in news stories.

Richard and Estrella — thoughtful young people who want to make a difference in the world — asked great questions of us old journos and talked to us about their hopes and plans for the future. It was great getting to know them.

As always, it was a lot of fun for us VOMBers, who included Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Kathryn McKenzie, Joe Livernois, Julie Reynolds Martinez and our able assistant Carlos Castro. We are also indebted to the journalists and local public figures who spoke to our students during the morning sessions, including Monterey County Sheriff candidate Tina Nieto as well as journalists Stephanie Magallon and Tommy Wright.

Funding for this year’s Young Voices came from Salinas Union High School District, in addition to the use of a classroom, as well as the Claire Giannini Fund.

Meet the 2022 Young Journalists

Young Voices reporting: 

Rebounding from COVID | Richard A. Rojas-Rangel
Through the pandemic, many teens forced into shelter not only lost contact with the people they care about, but they dropped out of extracurricular activities that can develop career-building skills.

A path to legalization and stronger rights | Article and photos by Estrella Zarate-Pacheco
Stuck in the Senate, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would pave a path to legalization for field workers, strengthen the H-2A visa program.

Here to stay | Article and photos by Estrella Zarate-Pacheco
Indigenous communities north and south of the US-Mexico border celebrate their existence.

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About VOMB

Voices of Monterey Bay is a nonprofit online news source serving California's Central Coast.