Immersion Cohort

Get to know the high school participants of the Emerging Journalists Program’s 2024 Immersion experience, held from June 17-28 on Elon University’s campus. Hailing from across the county, the 18 student journalists will develop their reporting, writing, multimedia storytelling, leadership and media management skills. The cohort will work as part of a working newsroom, producing professional web content and learning to track audience engagement metrics.

Photo of Jumana Alsaadoon.

Jumana Alsaadoon

Jumana Alsaadoon was born in Damascus, Syria, and raised there until she was 9 before immigrating to Harrisonburg, Virginia. Now, she is a rising senior at Harrisonburg High School, where she is captain of the speech team, founder of an advocacy group called Girls Association and vice president of the Equity Student Association. Alsaadoon is passionate about international relations and journalism. During her junior year, she was the editor-in-chief of HHS Media’s website, which she redesigned and for which she reported on global and local issues, such as book banning, a paper genocide and protests. In her senior year, she will run the newspaper, website, broadcast and yearbook of her school’s publication. She plans on pursuing journalism in college.

Photo of Isabelle Anderson.

Isabelle Anderson

Isabelle Anderson was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and currently lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A rising senior at Ronald W. Reagan High School, she discovered her love of digital media at a young age, entertaining family and friends with PowerPoint presentations, and has since shifted to Adobe apps, favoring Adobe Illustrator. She’s been a year-round swimmer for the YMCA since she was young and is a member of the Reagan varsity swim and dive team, specializing in butterfly. She has a fierce love for reading and is an avid book collector, which has inspired her love for creative writing and understanding how people interact with each other and the world around them. She also enjoys spending time with friends and listening to and creating music. Isabelle is interested in pursuing a career in marketing communications, but she has interests in many aspects of the communications field.

Photo of Traci Bethea.

Traci Bethea

Traci Bethea was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Greensboro, NC. She lives with her older sister, parents, and grandma and attends Weaver Academy of the Performing Arts. She found writing to be an outlet of both her creativity and other unprecedented emotions she wasn’t even aware of. She joined the Newspaper club in both her elementary and middle school, and also advanced in a program for her short play. She currently is involved with both yearbook and journalism club, and writing bios for the yearbook was her favorite aspect of it! She enjoys writing different facets of literature, including plays, poems, and journal entries. She enjoys listening to music, warm weather, distinct laughs and the moon.

Photo of Carter Frank.

Carter Frank

Carter Frank resides in Sanford, North Carolina, where he was born and raised. He lives there with his family and currently attends Lee Early College. He takes high school classes but will also complete two years of college at Central Carolina Community College, where he will graduate with an associate in arts degree and a high school diploma. He is part of both Phi Theta Kappa and National Honor Society. He enjoys writing about socioeconomic issues, especially in his hometown, and researching foreign politics. He also likes to read and help other people with their writing.

Photo of Keanu Frazier.

Keanu Frazier

Keanu Frazier was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, where he is a junior at Neuqua Valley High School. He has participated in extracurricular activities, such as Neuqua Eco Club, Interact Club, Star Raiders Club, volleyball teams and volunteer activities in the community. Additionally, he has always had a passion for storytelling, which began in acting through Paramount School of the Arts and other local theatre programs. His desire to use his voice has allowed him to branch out into marketing and communications. As such, Keanu holds a social media marketing certification and will be a part of the yearbook club his senior year. He is looking forward to pursuing his collegiate education in marketing and communications.

Photo of Dayvey Gordon.

Dayvey Gordon

Dayvey Gordon lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her parents and younger sister, where she attends Padua Academy. She instantly fell in love with broadcast journalism after taking a TV and production class during her junior year. Dayvey loves being a member of the team that produces and broadcasts PATV live three times a week. She is a studio and competitive dancer at the Anna Marie Dance Studio and a Padua Academy Dance Team captain. In her spare time, Dayvey enjoys hanging out with her friends and enjoying the Delaware beaches in the summer. Dayvey plans to pursue a degree that will help her learn more about media, TV and broadcast journalism.

Photo of Andrew Hancock.

Andrew Hancock

Andrew Hancock was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, where he spends his time playing basketball and baseball. He is just as involved in school, as he is in sports. He is co-president of Chinese club, co-director of testing for DECA, a business competition club, and on the executive board for crochet club. He also spends time in his school’s law center, which offers classes primarily focused on law and foreign relations. Andrew wants to become a business lawyer, but outside of his aspiration to practice law, Andrew works for a non-profit organization that advocates for independent living for people with disabilities. There, he mentors people with disabilities, helps them set goals, and helps with the newsletter committee for the non-profit organization.

Photo of Arti Jain.

Arti Jain

Arti Jain lives in St. Louis and attends Ladue Horton Watkins High School. She’s been an avid reader and writer since third grade, often devouring a book in mere hours. Next year, Arti will be the executive editor-in-chief of her school’s news site, Ladue Publications, leading 50 staffers in producing the website, newsmagazine, magazine and literary magazine. She also works a part-time job at Meyers-Okohson Political Consulting, is a member of her speech & debate team and serves on the Ladue Leadership Council. In her free time, Arti enjoys Bharatanatyam dance (an Indian classical style) and playing the violin. Arti hopes to pursue a career in journalism, specifically focusing on underrepresented and diverse groups.

Photo of Adelaide Kuzma.

Adelaide Kuzma

Adelaide Kuzma was born in Detroit and now lives in the Lincolnton area of North Carolina. They attend Pioneer Springs Community School, in which they are involved in many organizations. From founding the student government, being in Project Citizen, helping with campus bees, participating on the school’s archery team, Adelaide loves to be a part of building things with and for their community. Currently, they are leading a committee to have an on-campus sensory space for the high school students. In their free time, they love to read and have a soft spot for sci-fi/fantasy and horror. They love to create in all media. From writing to drawing to felting, they explore their various passions through the world of art. In the future, they hope to become a librarian, to continue engaging their passion for literature and to be involved in their local community.

Photo of Griffin Larson-Erf.

Griffin Larson-Erf

Griffin Larson-Erf was raised in Skokie, Illinois, and still resides there, where he attends Niles North High School. He started writing at age 8, and outside the newsroom, he deals mainly in short fiction and poetry. After joining the school newspaper his junior year, he started a movie-review column, Twin Takes, with his twin brother Reed. His accomplishments in the field of student journalism have included taking home an honorable mention in the Headline Writing category of the 2024 National Student Media Contests hosted by the Journalism Education Association. He also won first place from the Illinois Journalism Education Association for Best Staff Editorial for a piece he co-authored with a classmate. When he does manage to pry his fingers away from the keyboard, Griffin also plays alto saxophone and is active in his school’s theater department.

Photo of Lily Mosbacher.

Lily Mosbacher

Lily Mosbacher was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia, and attends Alan C. Pope High School. As a politically involved teenager with a passion for social action, Lily found her love for journalism when she published an article about school censorship in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. After her publication, she became enthusiastic about using the power of words to inform, inspire and connect with others. She has also been dancing since she was 3 years old and is currently a member of The Academy Dance Company, where she has trained in classical ballet for five years. Lily enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, reading books, and engaging in community service.

Photo of Alana Moss-Caldwell.

Alana Moss-Caldwell

Alana Moss-Caldwell is an avid writer, having published her own book at the age of 11. She resides with her family in Clover, South Carolina, and is an avid reader and a hard worker. Alana is currently writing a sequel to her first book. She is employed at Kate’s Skating Rink in Gastonia, and she strives to get her work done and take care of others. She makes sure people are taken care of and is a no-nonsense kind of person. She is always ready to go above and beyond to make sure that she meets her goals, and she lets nothing stop her.

Photo of Fatima Nadeem.

Fatima Nadeem

Fatima Nadeem grew up in both Thomasville, North Carolina, and Gujranwala, Pakistan. She currently lives in High Point, North Carolina. As an avid reader and writer since childhood, Fatima has been able to grow along with her passion, which has developed into a love for advocacy. Growing up in two different corners of the globe has sparked a love for learning about immigration. In the future, she hopes to work in a position that allows her to positively impact and fight for the rights of immigrants and refugees. To fuel her deep love for driving change through leadership, Fatima leads multiple initiatives, such as her school’s Journalism Team, a community service club, Student Ambassadors and more. Beyond this, she has worked for various legislators in her state and advocated for policies she is passionate about. She enjoys reading, cross-stitching and spending time with loved ones.

Photo of Arihanth Nuka.

Arihanth Nuka

Arihanth Nuka is from Austin, Texas, and is a senior at the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy (LASA) High School as an honors student. In addition to his academic ventures, Arihanth also shares his passion for knowledge by tutoring math, English and science. He has been playing guitar for nine years and shares his joy of playing by making students tailor lessons to meet each their unique needs. Arihanth enjoys community service and is part of the Junior Liaison board in LASA National Honor Society. Additionally, he started the VTSeva chapter at his school, leads initiatives that aid those in need, and organizes volunteering events throughout Austin for VTSeva and LASA NHS. His efforts have earned him the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award. He has also demonstrated success in competitions, including being the first in nursing assisting at LASA HOSA, advertising at the state level of the Future Business Leaders of America,and earning his black belt in Tang Soo Do martial arts. He aspires to continually use his skills and experiences to make an impact on his community and beyond.

Photo of Izel Perez.

Izel Perez

Izel Perez is a first generation Mexican-American born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a junior at Julia R Masterman. He has very strong ties to his Mexican heritage, which has inspired him to become the vice president of HOLA, the Hispanic Latino society at his school. Izel is passionate about sports, and he began playing soccer with his dad at the age of 3. Currently, he is a varsity athlete in both lacrosse and soccer. Outside athletics, he attended the Wharton Sports Business Academy last summer and competed in the Wharton Data Analytics Competition. He has also done volunteer work to better multiple communities by being a majority inspector for the Democratic primary election polls and by going on a service trip last summer to help rebuild local soccer fields in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Now, Izel is an intern at Immortal Vision Studios located in Kensington, Philadelphia, where he manages the organization’s social media content, helped create its email marketing campaigns and assisted with photography.

Photo of Emma Perman.

Emma Perman

Emma Perman was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She is a junior at PA Cyber Charter School with dual enrollment. Emma has written for her school paper, The PA Cyber Press, since freshman year, has written poetry and will be launching her own blog in the fall. Outside of writing, she has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award and is working on her Eagle Project. Her other extracurriculars include the National Honor Society, Global Education Club, Youth Ambassadors Club, Environmental Club and Musical Theater Club. Emma also has an extensive resume in the performing arts and works on the creative team with Youth Shakespeare Society of Pittsburgh. She advocates for children and students alike as a representative for Pennsylvania with the Moose Youth Awareness Program. Emma is ecstatic to learn more about journalism as a possible career path.

Photo of Katelyn Ranheim.

Katelyn Ranheim

Katelyn Ranheim was born in China and adopted at the age of 4. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attends Leesville Road High School. She is an editor of the literary magazine, The Crescendo, where she assists in assembling a spring and fall magazine edition of poetry, prose, writing and artwork from her fellow students. She is an active member of her high school symphonic band, in which she plays the euphonium and was awarded the Noah David Spivey Heart of an Overcomer Award as a first-year student. Outside the classroom, Katelyn enjoys working as a summer camp counselor and childcare provider, reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her family.

Photo of Manuela Roncancio-Roldan.

Manuela Roncancio-Roldan

Manuela Roncacio-Roldan was born and raised in New Jersey. She is currently a junior at Mount Saint Mary High School, where she engages with her classmates and gains leadership positions in her clubs. She has always been passionate about poetry and many forms of art that are media of expression. She finds writing and art provide a pathway for people to process and identify their emotions. They give people the space they deserve to cultivate their identities. Manuela volunteers at Muunar, which is a small organization created last year to help immigrants process their emotions as they go through assimilation and acculturation. Manuela is involved in social justice causes regarding immigrants, as she knows many who have immigrated to the United States and faced countless hardships.