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Medill Media Teens

Medill students volunteer to teach journalism skills and technology and to help prepare high school students for college or work.

Teen participants and mentors conduct an interview
Medill Media Teens participants and mentors conduct an interview on the streets of Chicago.

Teach journalism, shape lives

Medill student and teen working on project together
Medill student mentors get to know their Medill Media Teens while working on media projects together.

Saturdays at Medill's Chicago campus, Medill students are joined by teens from the Gary Comer Youth Center on Chicago's South Side. The newsroom is lively as students experiment with video, audio, photography and website production. Students interview one another and write and publish multimedia stories, learning about journalism and each other.

Medill undergraduates can mentor these students and gain valuable teaching and leadership experience while strengthening their ties to the greater Chicago community and learning more about the world beyond the Northwestern campus.

It's a yearlong commitment for the Medill mentors, and many have stayed on for additional years and remained friends with their teens long enough to watch them become the first in their families to attend college.

With the support of the McCormick Foundation, each teen who successfully completes the program receives a laptop computer at the end of their second year. Often, this is the first computer in their households.

Carlin McCarthy (BSJ17)
"Being a mentor with Medill Media Teens has allowed me not only to teach my teens about journalism but to watch them grow. Whether they're enhancing their writing skills or gaining the confidence to walk up to strangers on the street and ask for a quote, their commitment to improvement always makes me proud."Carlin McCarthy (BSJ17)