East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Unexpected ending for CSUN’s Journalism Conference

Jose Cano is a very good friend, although not many people knew his secret talent as being quite a great writer. Nevertheless, his hidden intellect got him an award in an opinion writing contest which took place at Cal State University Northridge on Oct. 21.

It was an unforgettable and unbelievable day for most of the students who attend East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy.

Mostly all ELARA students who attended the CSUN Journalism Conference had to make the biggest sacrifice of all: waking up early. Students were to arrive at Torres High School at “7:20 a.m. or otherwise be left behind by the bus and do a six-page, six-hour assignment,” according to Dr. Scott Cody, Journalism, ERWC and English teacher at ELARA– and USC Instructor– and very much appreciated by his students.

Other chaperones for the students were Ms. Tenorio, Ms. Pillar, and Mr. Orlando.

Students from over 13 schools, from San Fernando to Foothill Technology to East Los Angeles, arrived at 8:30 a.m., making a total of nearly 300 students, and making CSUN’s Journalism Conference Day the biggest since it started.

The first thing that students were provided was breakfast, from then on they were introduced into the schedule for the day. After the welcoming, students were led into their designated writing competitions. Some of the competitions were opinion writing, sports writing, news writing, features writing, and also photojournalism. Winning students were to be announced at the end of the day.

The next things students were to do was attend workshops for student and also advisers. Some of the workshops were: Women reporters on the front lines, Mastering critical video skills, reporting on politics in the Trump era, and cultivating a social media brand.  These workshops were for the sole purpose of empowering students with knowledge and for them to get a sense that journalism isn’t just writing stories, it is a broad subject with many aspects to it.

Students were provided lunch and after students headed for the closing ceremony where the students who participated in the writing competitions eagerly awaited to be called by their name to go up to the stage and receive their certificate of completion, participation and honorable mention.

As awards were presented to students, ELARA students waited anxiously for anyone of their fellow classmates to be called upon. Hope rose so high that as the winners from sports writing were being announced the name Richard came up, as many students thought immediately it was their classmate Richard Ramblaz. All hope came down as the name turned out to be Richard Medina.

Fortunately there was still faith for Renaissance students as the category Opinion Writing came up. Surprisingly, and unexpectedly the name Jose Cano came out the microphone. The vast majority of Renaissance students were screaming at the top of their lungs, still amazed at Cano’s hidden talent of writing.

There were two other students besides Cano from ELARA who were also lucky winners. The other lucky winners were Kimberly Castaneda and Jeniffer Garcia, who were also awarded in opinion writing.

Students were not surprised at Castaneda’s and Garcia’s accomplishment, but student were surprised for Cano, since no one expected him to have the hidden talent of great opinion writing skills.