On June 12, Daisy Carter, daughter of a Costa Rican father and a Mexican mother, received the Student Journalist of the Year award from Youth Journalism International (YJI), the highest award offered by the organization. The aim of bringing together thousands of young people of different nationalities is to promote intercultural understanding and defend a free youth press.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually. From an early hour the organizers were given the task of starting the great event. Daisy Carter had been notified that she would only be attending as a representative of the Alaska Teen Media Institute (ATMI), where she participates as a producer, but suddenly, she heard her name called as the winner of the highest honor.
“It was nine in the morning, and I started screaming and crying. I was nervous because I was going to wake someone up at home, I thought I was having an asthma attack. I was so happy and delusional,” Carter says.
The award received was the result of work titled Anchorage Youth Vote in the Team Reporting category on which Carter and Riley Taylor worked. Carter also received second place by Gerardo and Carlos Arias - Alumni of Anchorage Christian Schools. In her work, Carter makes visible the importance of citizens participation in the democratic process to elect their government representatives, and in the second she focuses on the racism that still exists towards Latinos in the US.
“There were so many people from different parts of the world, so many different perspectives, so many different lifestyles. It was pretty uplifting to know that all of them are doing an amazing job,” Carter said upon learning about all the jobs that were in competition.
With students from different countries, YJI is a non-profit organization based in Maine that since 1994 offers a platform that empowers young people, giving them a megaphone to tell the world about terrorism, teen suicide and violence, music, movies, politics, sports and many more topics. In the end, young people find a space where cultural, religious, and national differences do not exist, and a large family is formed.
During the global pandemic that has hit the entire world due to COVID-19, the organization’s activities continued, and many students from different parts of the world took the opportunity to focus on their work and projects.
“During the pandemic, I definitely focused on my work and used it to help me get through the lockdown, but I was really terrified, I used journalism and told stories, and I honestly tried to record history to distract myself.It was so uplifting that I don’t feel like I’ve worked hard and I feel like I learned even more to cherish the beauty of loving what I do, I really love journalism. I love to share and tell stories and make sure people’s voices are heard,” Carter concluded.
All young people between the ages of 12 and 24 can be part of Youth Journalism International and use it as a tool to acquire the skills that will help them thrive wherever they are, regardless of the career or activity they decide to pursue. You can find more information here: http://www.youthjournalism.org.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska