In an era of rapidly evolving media, Georgia's youth are stepping up to the plate. Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs have joined forces to launch an inspiring initiative that promises to elevate student journalism and media literacy across the state.

Inaugural Workshop: A Diverse Gathering

On June 13, 2024, GPB hosted the Student Voices Collective kickoff workshop, drawing nearly 40 educators and mentors from as many school districts, private schools, community partners, and universities. This diverse group embarked on a collaborative journey aimed at empowering educators and students alike.

Throughout the workshop, participants were immersed in a dynamic program supported by curated online resources from GPB and PBS. They received valuable insights from GPB News professionals, learning effective storytelling techniques tailored for radio and digital platforms. The workshop successfully catered to educators at all levels of experience. As one participant reflected, "I really appreciate how there was a perfect balance of information for teachers who are just starting their path … to veteran broadcasting teachers." Another teacher remarked, "This was the best professional development I have been part of in 16 years of teaching. I drove over 200 miles to be here, and it was well worth it."

Fostering Media Literacy and Civic Engagement

The Student Voices Collective is committed to nurturing media literacy and civic engagement among Georgia's youth. Through structured training and ongoing mentorship, educators and students will develop expertise in media production, narrative construction, and journalistic ethics. This comprehensive approach will help equip young people to navigate today's complex media landscape while fostering a deeper understanding of their civic responsibilities.

Looking ahead, the Collective will guide students through journalism projects aligned with quarterly prompts that reflect both local concerns and broader societal issues. These opportunities will both hone individual skills and cultivate informed citizens who actively shape their communities. As the new school year approaches, we eagerly anticipate the diverse and compelling stories that will emerge from this collaboration, showcasing the unique perspectives of Georgia's young journalists.

Learn more and stay informed about the Student Voices Collective's progress at Follow us on social media @gpbeducation to join the conversation and witness firsthand the transformative impact of student journalism in action!

SY 2024-25 Student Voices Collective:

Jeannie Barden Blessed Trinity Catholic High, Roswell
Briana Barganier South Atlanta High (APS)
Jennifer Barmore Hammond Creek Middle (Dalton)
Heather Bell Barber Middle (Cobb)
Georgia Bickel Mount Vernon School, Atlanta
Christopher Buechner Centennial High (Fulton)
Tara Cadogan Redan Middle (Dekalb)
Charaun Cash VOX ATL
Maureen Farry West Forsyth High (Forsyth)
Eve Fincher Howard High (Bibb)
Avery Floyd VOX ATL
Franki Foster Kendrick High (Muscogee)
Joseph Fouts Etowah High (Cherokee)
Lueisha Golden Performance Learning Center (Richmond)
Dr. Nicholas Griffin Troup County Schools
Hanna Grimes Murray F. Barber Middle (Cobb)
Maia Helvy re:imagine
Jennifer Henley Morrow High (Clayton)
Sheila Jordan Dublin Middle (Dublin)
Jennifer Kelley Darlington School, Rome
Randy Lee Southeast Bulloch High (Bulloch)
Bill Long Carrollton High (Carrollton)
Kacie Luaders Emory University, Bard College
Kerry Maynard Barrow Arts & Sciences Academy (Barrow)
Essence O’Neal West Laurens Middle (Laurens)
Bill Phelps Harrison High (Cobb)
Jeffrey Pino Discovery High (Gwinnett)
Tiffany Rowell Rome High (Rome)
Juliana Souki Dunwoody High (Dekalb)
Brandy Taylor Burke County Middle (Burke)
Saundra Watts Barber Middle (Cobb)
Susan Whaley Smitha Middle (Cobb)
Melissa D. White Writing Our Wrongs
Lonnie White Memorial Middle (Rockdale)
Tiffany Williams Our Words Matter
Valerie Wilson Turner County Middle (Turner)