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Teen Appeal staff members are now working at daily newspapers and magazines around the country as writers and photographers. Others have gone into public relations and other communication fields. We've got a winning formula with the support from Scripps-Howard, the Commercial Appeal and the U of M journalism department," Sanford said.The Scripps foundation provides a $72,000 annual grant while the Commercial Appeal prints and distributes the paper.
In the 17 years of the program, it is estimated that more than 1,000 young people have been introduced to journalism, said Otis Sanford, former managing editor at the Commercial Appeal and now Hardin Chair of Excellence in Journalism at the U of M.But now I think I am going into mass communication or journalism," said Kayla Lee, 17, a senior at Memphis' Hillcrest High School and current Teen Appeal staff member."I've always wanted to work at a magazine." Lee said she plans to apply to Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis and Fisk University for college next year.She said they continued to date behind her parents’ backs, and when she approached them again about it, she said they took away her savings, car, phone and education.Dowdle said she received some scholarship money and loans, but she was still ,000 short in covering the costs of her first year. — A Go Fund Me campaign from Memphis is going viral.
In just three days, Allie Dowdle has raised more than ,000 to pay for college."One of the benefits has been that we've been able to introduce young people of color into journalism," Sanford said. There is always lots of diversity in the schools so that is reflected in our program." Some of the content is hard-hitting such as an award winning story about a student protest at Carver High School and another about bullets found in a school bus.Other stories are softer such as features about applying for college or how to accessorize a school uniform.The 2011 Scholastic Journalism Census, conducted by researchers at Kent State University, found that high schools that are smaller, more rural, poorer and with a larger minority population are most likely to have no newspaper.Shelby County Schools, which now includes all of Memphis, is expected to have about 117,000 students this school year with the majority being minority students, mostly African American, and 80 percent eligible for a free or reduced lunch program.It has a circulation of about 15,000, however students also show their work on the website