This summer, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider is proud to offer eleven paid internships that will focus on arts and sports—broadly defined—and their impact on critical issues in the community. The internship is made possible in part by funding from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the LA84 Foundation. Follow @hsinsider and the #InternAffairs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (hs.insider) to keep up with the interns’ work.
High School Interns
Kevin Camargo | @kevincamargo98
Kevin Camargo is a South East High School alumnus. He is from the city of South Gate, which is a neighboring city to more known cities such as Downey and Huntington Park. He was always known in high school as the kid in yearbook when in reality it was newspaper. He always complains to people that they do not see how much work and dedication it takes to make a story and/or newspaper.
Although Kevin has done journalism for most of his high school years, he hopes to learn some skills he can use in the future. Kevin considers himself the human-life Pandora because he can listen and jam out to any type of music. From Karaoke Night with the family to dancing in Quinceañeras, music is a big part of his life.
Maya Maharaj | @MayaMaharaj0000
Maya Maharaj is an incoming senior at the Orange County High School of the Arts where she specializes in the Creative Writing Conservatory and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of her school paper, the OCSA Evolution. Her background of arts classes, from “Magical Realism,” to “Film Noir,” helps her incorporate artistic filters into a non-fiction lens. She aspires to utilize this base as a way to weave stylistic writing into narrative in her coverage of art related events around Los Angeles.
As an art school student Maya has the luxury of getting to cover arts events on the daily as they cannot be avoided on campus. Now having grown used to this type of creative environment, she is ready to scour unsuspecting communities around California for art niches that deserve more recognition. She gets the most gratification from throwing herself into new environments and learning about their residents which is why one of her long-term aspirations is to become a foreign correspondent.
Although she is always ready to hop on a plane and fly wherever she always succumbs to the magnetic pull of California art scenes and returns home. Her three years spent at OCSA floating in the constant current of dancers, screenwriters, chefs, and more has made her realize that the art community is not something she wants to tuck away in the high school chapter of her life. It is something she wants to constantly be surrounded in as it stimulates her will to write and unlocks new perspectives in her subconscious.
When she is not working, Maya can be found selling vintage, making short films, putting together a zine, or leading a “picnic club” meeting at her school.
Tyler Kwon | @tylerhkwon
Tyler Kwon is an incoming senior at Granada Hills Charter High School, where he will act as Editor-in-Chief of the Plaid Press during the 2017-2018 school year.
He enjoys covering race and social justice issues, having written on topics like the L.A. Riots, the racist implications of code-switching, and chickens’ rights. As a proud Korean American, Tyler is especially passionate about Asian American issues and rights. During his time as a summer intern, he would like to strengthen his voice in order to better share the successes and concerns of his community.
In recent years, the Plaid Press has struggled with engaging its audience. Distribution dates have become a source of dread for the entire staff; issue after issue, it has seen weeks of tireless work amount to countless untouched stacks of newspapers. With the tricks of the trade he learns as an intern, he plans on transforming this disappointment into a sense of pride for both the Plaid Press staff and the Granada student body.
Blake Atwell | @blakeatwell5
Blake Atwell is a rising senior at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo. Blake is a passionate journalist who enjoys covering sports, entertainment, and the arts. He has goals of becoming a beat reporter for a professional sports team and also venturing into the sports broadcasting industry. Blake is constantly working towards his dream of one day attending the University of Southern California, studying at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. A determined basketball player and morning show anchor of his school’s Mustangs in Motion Film Program, he enjoys meeting and working with people from all backgrounds. He loves the thrill of pursuing authentic stories through writing and elements of multimedia such as video and social media. Blake’s had three bylines on the main page of the Times under Essential Education, covering topics ranging from high school basketball to the work of organizations such as the LAUSD and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. He’s been reporting for HS Insider for over a year, and believes there’s nothing better than getting to do what he loves while working with amazing fellow young journalists. As an intern at the Times this summer, Blake looks forward to improving his video editing skills and adventuring into Downtown Los Angeles to find compelling stories.
Jamie Chau | @Jchauuuu
Jamie Chau is an enthusiastic incoming senior at Mark Keppel High School. After getting in touch with her love of writing in second grade, she has written two manuscripts (although they never made it past a literary agent), written for the Cascades, contributed to the Alhambra Source and SGV Journal, and is copy editor and historian for her school paper, The Aztec. Her biggest writing goal is to publish a book one day.
In addition to her everlasting fondness of writing, Jamie loves its counterpart, reading. Her favorite books includes the entire Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series and The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. But what she enjoys even more is binging Netflix. Her all-time favorite is “Futurama” (she can go on for hours about how amazing it is), but she also enjoys “Sherlock” and various movies. However, to her, the best thing about Netflix is how it gives her the ability to catch up on all her superhero shows. “Daredevil” takes first place, but she also has a soft spot for “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Iron Fist,” and “Agents of Shield.”
As cliche as it sounds, she wouldn’t be where she is now without supportive people in her life, and would like to give a huge shoutout to her best friend Scott Pham for having her back no matter what. She would also like to thank Andy Yam for getting her started with HS Insider in the first place. Finally, she would like to acknowledge last year’s editor-in-chief of The Aztec, Victoria Ramirez, for inspiring her, and her friends Brandon Chung, Bonnie Wong, and Sophie Wong.
This summer, there are many things Jamie is looking forward to, including learning new things and meeting new people. Calling this internship exciting is a complete understatement. High School Insider has fueled her passions and talents like never before, and every time she steps into the LA Times building, everything still feels surreal. But most importantly, she can’t wait to bond with her fellow interns and make lasting memories.
Sarah Kim | @sarrahhkim
Sarah Kim is an incoming junior at the Los Angeles High School of the Arts at RFK Community Schools. She is a very americanized Korean American teenager who enjoys taking pictures of the beach but hates getting sand in her hair, loves eating food but hates cooking it and likes playing with puppies but could never take care of one herself. In almost every aspect of her life, Sarah only wants to experience the good parts, but with writing she wishes to endure absolutely everything.
Sarah discovered her love for writing in elementary school when her lack of confidence in speaking in English kept her from voicing her thoughts. Frustrated and confused, she picked up a pen and began to scribble down everything she had felt, seen and heard but never talked about. Since then, writing has been Sarah’s safe haven where she escapes to when reality takes its toll. Her love for writing was sparked long ago, but it continues to be ignited and a strong flame has taken its permanent spot in her heart.
High School Insider has given Sarah a bigger voice than she could have ever imagined to have at sixteen years old, and she hopes to put this opportunity to good use. Through the course of this summer, Sarah hopes to strengthen her reporting and editing skills, learn how to use more advanced technology than just her iPhone and iMovie and create memorable relationships that will last a lifetime.
Sarah isn’t sure what she wants to do in the future yet, but she is absolutely sure that writing will somehow be a part of it, because she couldn’t imagine a life without her one true love.
Connie Garcia | @conn_garcia
Connie Garcia recently graduated from Sotomayor High School. In high school she was a part of both leadership and yearbook class. A class that inspired her in high school was an honors writing seminar class, and she learned so much from it that now she wants to become a journalist.
Journalism is in her, writing has become a part of her and she wants to get better at it. Her focuses are making her environment a better place. Los Angeles has been her home ever since she was born.
She enjoys exploring new places. She would like to travel the world someday. A place in particular she would like to travel to is Greece. One of her passions is meeting new people, even though she is not that great at it. Something she likes to do is trying new foods. One of her favorite foods would be tacos. Connie most importantly is a Latina.
Ashly Gallardo | @teendelinquency
She enjoys covering social and global issues. She goes above and beyond when she is writing about something she is passionate about, those things often being human and animal rights. Her interests involve street art, animated films, literature. She is most excited to explore L.A. and meet interesting new people.
Orlando Mayorquin | @SDOrlandomayo
Orlando Mayorquin is a graduate of Ontario High School and will be attending the California State University of Northridge in the fall. Mayorquin first gained an interest in journalism during his freshman and sophomore year while watching Vice News coverage of the Russian annexation of Crimea on Youtube. He decided to join The Jagwire, his school newspaper, his junior year. He became co-editor in chief of The Jagwire his senior year and helped launch Ontario High School’s first ever video production class. Despite his keen interest in politics, most of his work in high school revolved around sports. Mayorquin shied away from writing about politics as he felt it divided a rather intimate campus. However, now that his audience is substantially broader, he is excited to learn about covering politics and social issues with the help of his mentor Jaweed Kaleem.
McKenna Thurber | @mckennathurber
McKenna Thurber is a senior and Editor-in-Chief of El Camino Real Charter High School’s newspaper, The King’s Courier. After photographing and reviewing local concerts, she discovered her affinity for journalism. Covering shows in the San Fernando Valley helped her to make contacts with publicists, which has given her the opportunity to cover some of her favorite bands, including Cage the Elephant. Through this internship, she hopes to explore the rich and elusive music scene in Southern California. As the president of her school’s Social Justice Club, she also hopes to learn more about how to improve life in her community. She is grateful for all that HS Insider has done for her, and looks forward to pursuing a career in music journalism. When she is not reporting or photographing, she is playing guitar with her band, reading Kurt Vonnegut or watching “Twilight.”
Jessica Zhou | @itsjesszhou
Jessica Zhou is in a long distance relationship with Los Angeles (it’s complicated), and so excited to be back with HS Insider this summer. She will be a sophomore at Washington State University where she edits and writes news for the Daily Evergreen and studies computer science, data and political science. She is very interested in the intersection of technology and media with politics, community and identity. There are probably way too many tabs open on her laptop right now. One year ago today, on June 22nd, she and Kyle became friends on Facebook.
Kyle Finck | @Kyle_Finck
Kyle helps run High School Insider and is passionate about empowering the next generation of digital thinkers to elevate their voices in new and innovative ways.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Kyle worked previously at Sports Illustrated, CNNMoney.com, the New York Daily News and the Center for Investigative Reporting.