Welcome to Insider

Los Angeles Times High School Insider is a community of young readers, thinkers and storytellers.

The foundation of HSI is this user-generated content platform where young people from around Southern California, across the country and even throughout the world can share the stories that matter to them.

Beyond a platform, HSI also creates opportunities for young people to develop their writing, media literacy and multimedia skills, connect with L.A. Times staff and immerse themselves in the field of journalism.

Meet the Team

Rebecca Castillo

Rebecca Castillo

HS Insider Project Lead

Rebecca Castillo is a graduate of Swarthmore College and a current graduate student at USC Marshall School of Business. She first became involved with High School Insider during her junior year of high school and was part of the summer 2016 intern cohort. Rebecca is deeply passionate about accessible education, storytelling for social change, and fighting for a better future. In her free time, she enjoys roller skating, film photography, and going for runs around Los Angeles.

Shehreen Karim

Shehreen Karim

Content Specialist, Public Affairs

Shehreen Karim is a senior at University of California, Los Angeles, after transferring from Pierce Community College. She was a former HS Insider Summer Intern in 2019 and pursued journalism since then. She grew a specific passion for radio and audio storytelling at KQED when she was a Newscast Intern in 2021. Besides journalism, Shehreen loves gaming with her friends in her free time.

Isabella Balandrán

Isabella Balandrán

Content Specialist, Public Affairs

Isabella Balandrán is a journalism major at California State University, Long Beach, having transferred from Orange Coast College. After interning with HS Insider the summer before her senior year at Mater Dei High School, Isabella discovered and fostered her passion for journalism. When she’s not running the backend of HS Insider, Isabella enjoys keeping up with news, watching live music and spending time with her family and dogs.

Laila Wheeler

Laila Wheeler

Engagement Specialist, Public Affairs

Laila Wheeler is a second-year student at UCLA double majoring in public affairs and sociology. She is currently the assistant Opinion editor at the Daily Bruin and previously served as an Opinion columnist. She first became interested in journalism when she was involved in her high school’s yearbook staff. As the Engagement Specialist for HSI, she is excited to work with a community of young journalists and storytellers. Her interests include anti-racism, access to education and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities through journalism.