The 2021 Young Voices Media Project Online and Socially Distant ~ Again


Our July 2021 Young Voices Media Project was a hybrid of online and in-person learning. High school students from the Salinas Valley spent two weeks learning professional journalism and writing skills. See their stories below.

Despite being well practiced in running this program by now, we weren’t sure what to expect for 4th annual Young Voices Media Project. COVID-19 continued to complicate everything. But distance learning was nothing new to our young reporters, who have been dealing with this stuff at their Salinas Valley high schools for more than a year. Our large proportion of returning students challenged us to level up with them. We hope you enjoy their work as much as we did.

Meet the 2021 Young Journalists

Pandemic takes a heavy toll on Gonzales High students 

By Angela Rodriguez

Salinas students defend ethnic studies

By Karen Dorantes

Santa Rita school named for beloved principal

By Carolyn Dorantes

Nurses were the quiet COVID-19 heroes

By Sophia Espinosa

Teachers kept connected during the pandemic

By Sophia Espinosa

More About Young Voices

Students met with the Voices of Monterey Bay staff at Salinas Union High School for two weeks in July, getting a quick immersion into the craft and the ethics of journalism, while also hearing from other professional journalists and local community leaders.

In addition to the VOMB crew (Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Julie Reynolds Martinez, Kathryn McKenzie and Joe Livernois), students were fortunate to work with photographer Carlos Castro.

Sharing their wisdom with our students were David Rodriguez, photographer for the Salinas Californian; Phillip Tabera, Salinas Union High School District board member; Patricia Guadalupe, freelance Washington D.C. reporter; Mara Reynolds, VOMB design editor; Joe Rodriguez, retired San Jose Mercury-News editorial writer; Janet Martinez, Alisal Union School District counselor; and Nate Abaurrea, soccer broadcaster.

Also, Angela Salazar, fashion and style writer; Rosemary Soto, Monterey County management analyst; Virginia Hennessey, a private detective; Christina Medina, a philanthropy professional and Marina City Councilperson; and Charlotte West and her group of amazing college journalists.

Finally, a big thanks to our copy editors, Paul Hersh and Christy Hoffknecht. Yes, it takes quite the village!

The Young Voices Media Project is funded with the generous support of the Clare Giannini Fund, and it’s an integral part of our mission: To bridge cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic gaps through engaging and nuanced storytelling. None of these gaps can be bridged without youth voices at the table, and we’re fortunate to have had 10 brilliant minds willing to give us their time and energy. Here’s to you, budding journos!

Every voice counts.
You can support the Young Voices Media Project by donating to Voices of Monterey Bay.