Why I Report for ELi

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I originally started reporting for East Lansing Info following my participation in ELi’s 2020 Summer Youth Journalism Program.

This opportunity to participate appeared to me when Cody Harrell, who teaches ELi’s summer courses, was my freshman English teacher. Apparently, I had expressed interest in the program in our get-to-know-you form in class because Mr. Harrell ran the program.

Later in the school year, once school had shut down due to the pandemic, I was invited to join the Portrait newspaper staff at East Lansing High School. The topic of the program came up again, and I asked him to shoot me an email once he knew if it would happen.

So that summer, I participated in the program, which was held virtually due to Covid-19. Once the program concluded, I was offered the opportunity to continue to report for ELi.

Initially, ELi served as a good way for me to get practice writing articles. It gave me the experience necessary to apply for an editorial position in my first year on the newspaper staff. And it allowed me the opportunity to write a different type of story compared to what I would do for school.

These stories allowed me to inform and help a larger audience, given ELi’s established readership and the relevance of the stories to said audience.

Now, I’ve grown to enjoy learning about people and what they do around the city. I especially liked learning about the interfaith clergy efforts in the area to distribute food and bring unity to a divided country. I also really liked doing my story on the East Lansing Police and Fire Departments providing services in the pandemic. These stories were fun to write because I got to meet new people and learn about them.

ELi has given me the opportunity to meet a diverse set of people in a time where safe social interactions are hard to come by and you rarely meet people outside of your own little bubble. Not only have I been able to interact with other residents of East Lansing, I’ve also been able to meet all the amazing people at ELi and learn from them. Without ELi, I know I wouldn’t be where I am as a student journalist today.

Reporting for ELi has allowed me to do work that I find very fulfilling: informing the community about both events and the people who live in this city with them.

You can check out more of Adan’s reporting here!

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