It’s a wrap. The BND Summer Media Camp 2021 has ended. I can’t express my joy at seeing the growth in our eight campers in two short weeks. Their future success is ensured, thanks to our extraordinary guest presenters throughout the program. We kicked off our second week on Tuesday (July 20) with a session on drone reporting, led by the Richmond Mercury’s award-winning Ned Oliver. Prolific author, journalist and professor Wayne Dawkins joined us on Wednesday (July 21) to discuss journalism ethics, before we headed to the Virginia Museum to take in “The Dirty South” exhibit. The students loved it.
Today’s (July 22) session featured a powerhouse of media experts: Dr. Linnie S. Carter, Vice President of College Advancement, HAAC; Jeff Wilson, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Padilla; Santia Nance, Vice President and Associate Director at The Martin Agency; Leha Byrd, an amazing PR specialist, educator and entrepreneur; and Heidi Wilson, chairwoman, Department of Journalism at Virginia Union University. These experts schooled our students on how to prepare for college, job interviewing skills, positioning themselves for promotions, continuing education, salary negotiation, investing and savings, and entrepreneurship. (Important stuff that I didn’t learn until adulthood.)
As if that weren’t enough, several of my former VCU and NCA&T college students shared their journeys, too. I was blown away by the realization that these three young women, Myja Gary (Zoom), Mariya Moseley (ABC World News Tonight) and Chandelis Duster (CNN), now help deliver the news to audiences GLOBALLY.
Finally, a visit from Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams, recipient of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, further made our day! Mike shared with our campers several tips for becoming better writers, and encouraged them to read and practice their craft until it “becomes a concerto.”
A special thanks to Dr. Gary Banks of Ephesus SDA Church and Academy, Mrs. Saundra Rollins and all of our special guests, sponsors, volunteers and former BND campers Ellis Henderson II, Emani Henderson, Johari Edwards, Mikayla Compere and Dedrick Shorter. Mariya Moseley and Kimberly Fields, I could NOT have conducted this program without your dedicated, consistent and loyal assistance. Work produced by our students will soon be posted on this website, along with information about upcoming youth-centered programming!