Madalyn Mendoza, now a reporter at the Express-News and mySA.com, participated in Teen Team in the late 2000s.
This program, proposed and managed by the Express-News Diversity Committee, gives young people in and around San Antonio the opportunity to write blogs, articles and opinion pieces for the Express-News through a small, intimate mentorship program. Each member of the cohort is paired with a professional journalist, giving the teens a close-up view of what it’s like to work in the industry.
The program is based off a similar program the Express-News offered in the early 2000s, but this time, the Express-News brought back the program with a heavy focus on mentorship.
Luz Moreno-Lozano, a journalist at the Austin American-Statesman, was part of the 2008 Teen Team and said the program was her “first foot in the door in launching my now seven-year career as a journalist."
“Today, the skills I have learned have carried through to my daily reporting -- from a community news reporter in Atascosa and Medina counties to covering the social injustices of Austin and its surrounding communities,” Moreno-Lozano said. “And it all started with the Teen Team.”
Starting in April 2021, the first Teen Team has met the second Thursday of every month. During the monthly meetings, guest speakers from throughout the newsroom led lectures on different aspects of journalism.
Former Teen Team members include Madalyn Mendoza, journalist at MySA; Francisco Vara-Orta, training director at Investigative Reporters & Editors; and Bonnie Kavoussi, former Huffington Post journalist and fellow at Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
Applications will open soon for the Fall 2021 program. The Express-News recruits participants through high school journalism and English departments. Outreach efforts are heavily focused on schools in underserved communities and those without journalism programs. Would you like a presentation at your school? Contact us at the email below.
Applicants will be asked to fill out a Google Questionnaire and attach a letter of reference from a non-family member such as a teacher or employer and three samples of work. The letter of recommendation should describe your ability to participate in a group that requires ongoing discussion of current events at monthly meetings, daily reading of the newspaper and regular contributions to the Express-News and mySA.com. The letter also should describe your academic performance, extracurricular activities and community service.
Samples may include published or unpublished stories, essays, photos, cartoons, videos, podcasts, blogs, social media posts or other creative work.
Priority is given to high school juniors and seniors, though others can apply, too.
Do you have questions? Email Marina Starleaf- Riker at firstname.lastname@example.org.