The students and journalists pose for a group picture.
Joyce Kim, Grade 10
The IRL event was held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the student center of G.C.C. We were immediately welcomed by the team and offered refreshments as we mingled with one another for the first thirty minutes. With students from all parts of L.A. County, and even a few from outside, the atmosphere was one of friendliness and enthusiasm at getting to know one another.
H.S. Insider is a program from The L.A. Times that allows students to publish their work.
We were then split up randomly into four different groups, each with a Student Advisory Board member and a team leader to help facilitate further discussion. As we gathered around the table, conversations quickly slipped into a variety of topics, such as our school environment, individual pressure, how we managed stress, and the overall unfairness of the whole institution. Though everyone was from different backgrounds and had different interests, the stress and indignation at the injustices seemed to be the one commonality throughout the groups.
Around noon, groups were adjourned to have lunch. I sat down with Ginna Pollack and a few others, and she shared her experiences, explained her work, and gave advice for finding interesting stories. She told us about projects she’d done regarding topics like politics and homelessness in L.A., sharing funny anecdotes and insider tips along the way.
Overall, the Winter IRL was an insightful and inspiring experience. I loved the group discussions, because they allowed us to connect and relate with one another on a deeper level. Because sign-ups are free, I would definitely participate again next quarter and recommend anyone else who is interested to attend as well.