Kymia Freeman was eager to get off to a good start and get a glimpse into student life at USC when she was accepted into the Annenberg Youth Academy for media and civic engagement like a junior going up to high school.
The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism program recruits high performing high school students from across Southern California who are interested in media and introduces them to career and educational opportunities in media communications. The program allows students to take college-level courses while helping participants strengthen their specific media skills, such as writing and multimedia production.
âUSC has always been the school of my dreams, and it would have been so great to come to campus and meet professionals in an area that interests me,â said Freeman. Despite initial disappointment at not being able to walk around Wallis Annenberg Hall or enter the state-of-the-art media center at USC Annenberg due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she credits the program with helping to stay engaged in his studies.
âWhen you have a bunch of boxes on your screen or doing your homework in your room, it can’t replicate the experience of a classroom and it was easy to disengage,â she said. . âThe program helped me overcome this. Every day, I looked forward to opening my computer. They made sure we had our cameras on. They made sure we were engaged.
Annenberg Youth Academy connects students and inspiring media professionals
One of the key elements of the Annenberg Youth Academy is to introduce participants to experts and media professionals. This allowed Freeman to meet and bond with guest speaker, ABC News congressional correspondent and USC alumnus Rachel Scott.
âTo have someone like her in my corner has been so amazing, I can’t stress it enough,â Freeman said. She and Scott exchanged phone numbers at a Zoom workshop, and the relationship turned into a mentorship. âAs a black woman just having her out there and seeing her lead by example really means a lot. It made me a more confident editor, and it made me really confident to apply to college. “
The lessons she learned at the academy set her final year plans in motion. She was able to show leadership as the editor of her high school newspaper, The Oarsman, and she was successful in gaining acceptance into the school of her dreams.
âWhen I got accepted into USC I was like, wow! ” she said. And despite a move-in day experience that required âa lot of mental preparation,â Freeman remains inspired by her new home. “I was so in awe of the beauty and the resources that are here.”
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