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VOICES OF YOUTH -- COHORT IS FULL! Thank you for your interest. Please check back in September, 2023.


A journalism project that lifts youth voices and is focused on community issues that are important to youth.

Through this project you have an opportunity: To be heard. To contribute to community discussions. To affect change.

Do you have a curiosity for learning new things?

Do you like to write? 

Would you like to be published? 
Are you looking for a way for the issue you care about to be heard about and a place to showcase your artistic talent?

If you have an interest in learning why journalism is important to affecting change sign up now to participate.

Be part of a team presenting these issues to the community in a way only youth can.

There are several roles from which to choose: 

∙ Writer 

∙ Researcher

∙ Photographer 

∙ Social Media

∙ Artist / Any medium

VOICES of YOUTH KALAMAZOO will be offering its second session starting in the Spring of 2023. Workshops dates are set for Saturday, April 23,  April 29, May 6 and May 13, . Classes begin at 11 a.m. and will end at 1:30 p.m.

There are opportunities to help write a longform feature article.  Writers will learn through the program how to shape these stories with support in research,  interviews, and writing.

The topics we are addressing will be TRANSPORTATION, MENTAL HEALTH, POLICING, and IN-SCHOOL VIOLENCE. There will be opportunities for youth to take on roles in creating photography, and artwork supporting stories in these topic areas. 

All stories are approached through a solutions approach and reported with an eye towards ways the issues are related to structural and ongoing systemic racism.


A professional journalist will l the workshops providing step-by-step in how to write, how to research, and how to interview sources for a story. A syllabus will be provided at the beginning of the session. 


You will not be working on this project alone! Each topic will have its own Writing Mentor and Art/Photography Mentor.  


The kick-off meeting is a KYD Network Youth Conference.  


Participants will be paid $30 for each workshop (there at least 4, for a total of $120.)

All roles will be compensated at local journalism industry standards for their content upon publication. 


Stories and digital images will be published online on the Second Wave Media website. 

For an example of previous work that has been published click here and here

We will also be exploring opportunities to showcase the work through other platforms or events. Our goal will be to present stories and artwork at a spring Downtown Kalamazoo Art Hop.


Because this is a deadline-focused project with specific due dates for completion, attendance at all workshops is required. Communication between Participants and Mentors is critical for success.
Here’s what we need to know about you!

Your legal name

The name you prefer to use
Your preferred pronouns

Contact info: Phone number, email, physical address

Parent, Guardian, and or YAK Leader contact information 

• You will be asked to sign a Letter of Agreement that outlines the expectations as mentioned above. 

This is an opportunity to learn, grow, and build your high school experience resume! To register click here. 

Issue Media Group (IMG) is the parent company of Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. IMG publishes weekly online magazines leveraging the power of solutions-based and narrative journalism. Our publications aim to connect readers to their city’s most visionary and active people, businesses, and organizations. We work with like-minded stakeholders who have shared values and missions through an underwriting model of publishing.

Our journalists engage the community through regular editorial advisories, events, and conversations to build trusted relationships with leaders and residents that shape the community’s unique stories. The company was incorporated in Detroit in 2005.


This program is underwritten by The Stryker Johnston Foundation.