‘I Want To Be Heard’: 13 Local Students Join D&Me Team

A new semester means a new team of student interns and advisers. Congratulations and welcome to Cierra Britten, a senior journalism major/Asian studies minor at the University of Cincinnati; Robert Thikkurissy from UC’s Transition and Access Program; Zeratul Bryan of Taft IT H.S.; Michelle Miao of Talawanda H.S.; Emma Feldmeier of Wyoming H.S.; Kylie Bridgeman, Nazret Degaulle, and Lael Ingram from Walnut Hills H.S.; and, from Aiken H.S., Hafsah Daikho, Anesa Junious, Tasnim Saad, Enock Sadiki (a program participant last spring), and Andres Vargas.

“This opportunity excites me because I can be heard. I want to be heard,” Andres said. “I hope to learn more about the culture and the thoughts of other countries, and also I want to be more expressive… I want to increase my confidence, because that’s what I want to convey.”

Andres and his cohorts will build their skills and collaborate on digital storytelling projects, under the mentorship of Cincinnati Public Radio staff and other media professionals. As the senior intern of this fall group, Cierra will take on a peer educator role, guiding collaborations and helping the students develop their writing in particular.

At our first in-person meetup at the station on Sept. 28, students recorded video interviews on the subject of equity in education with our friends (and downstairs neighbors) at CET Public Television; they also met with D&Me’s educational adviser and spirit guide, Dr. David Childs, and even tried out WVXU’s Fall Fund Drive “Feats of Strength” mini-golf challenge (Emma won), because… goofy fundraising stunts are just par for the course in public radio.

You’ll soon be seeing the work of these outstanding young communicators here on our blog, the Democracy & Z podcast and YouTube channel videos, on our social media, and at upcoming events. Stay tuned!

New student advisers Lael (standing, from left), Anesa, Kylie, Robert, Cierra, Emma, and Zeratul, with D&Me program director Julie Coppens (front), and their official Cincinnati Public Radio Chico bags. Other team members Zoomed in.

Special thanks to all the educators who encouraged these talented students to get involved with Democracy & Me–and look for details and applications for our Spring 2022 internship program in December.