The future of Sandy Springs is in good hands thanks to the bright minds of our youth.
During the 2021-2022 school year, Sandy Springs Together partnered with North Springs High School and VOX Teen Communications to provide students with an additional outlet for them to express their ideas. This program was the first time VOX ATL has partnered with an organization outside of the Atlanta Public Schools. The result, VOX ATL, complemented the existing high school journalism program led by Mr. Adam Throne, language arts teacher and head of the school’s newspaper, The Oracle.
VOX ATL is a teen-driven, nonprofit organization committed to uplifting the voices of youth from diverse backgrounds across metro Atlanta. Through this endeavor, VOX ATL seeks to create a stronger, more equitable community by fostering leadership and uncensored self-expression.
VOX recognizes that young people in our community face many social pressures that often leave them struggling with social isolation, low self-esteem, and a feeling of having no control over decisions that directly impact their lives. The partner program created the opportunity for North Springs journalism students to express themselves through their own writing. Through this experience, students developed leadership skills and formed healthy, supportive relationships amongst their peers.
More than twenty students participated in several workshops and heard from professionals, including Rose Scott, the award-winning journalist and host of “A Closer Look.” Scott spoke to students about careers in journalism, the best way to find reliable resources and her own experiences as a journalist. Students who participated in the workshops spoke positively of the experience, citing the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions with other Metro Atlanta area teens as a plus.
Students’ published work highlights topics that are important to them. The articles range from an exploration of a student’s Puerto Rican heritage to editorials on teen mental health.
The North Springs Journalism Class has a successful track record of their own. For example, Courtney Suber and Sarah Meiselman, two North Springs High School teens participating in the Sandy Springs Together sponsored program, earned first and second place from the Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s first amendment essay contest.
Sandy Springs Together also sponsored a journalism club at Sandy Springs Charter Middle School. The club of more than 30 students met monthly and created a website where they published articles on sports, movie reviews and more. The hope is that the middle school students will be inspired to participate in the high school journalism program when they enter ninth grade.
At Sandy Springs Together, we are proud to support the development of our future leaders. We look forward to continuing both the VOX ATL program and Sandy Springs Charter Middle School journalism club in the fall. We look forward to sharing additional student work as we move forward.