This summer, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider is proud to offer 10 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 he City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the LA84 Foundation and the Jack Smith Foundation. Follow HSI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (hs.insider) to keep up with the interns’ work.
High School Interns
Tina Takhmazyan | @tinatakhmazyan
Tina Takhmazyan is a rising senior at Herbert Hoover High School. As a second year Student Advisory Board member, Tina has introduced authors at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and John Green on his “Turtles All the Way Down” book tour, as well as being published on the main Los Angeles Times Education page. She is thrilled to be spending this summer as an intern and is eager to make some incredible memories. In her spare time, there is nothing she loves more than watching “That 70’s Show” and making a mean macaroni and cheese.
Tatiana Jackson | @mercytgod
Tatiana Jackson is a rising freshman at California State University, Northridge pursuing a double major of Psychology and Journalism. She was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s newspaper The Trailblazer, spearheading the interest in entertainment and sports sections, her passions. She also served as Senior Class President and a member of the Black Student Union. Hailing from Compton, she hopes to make a difference in her community and help lead people into a more positive and promising direction.
Madina Safdari | @MadinaSaf
Madina Safdari is a rising freshman at Moorpark College and is a San Fernando Valley native. She was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s newspaper, The Plaid Press, at Granada Hills Charter and exhibits her love and enthusiasm for journalism everywhere she goes. She is excited for her time as an HS Insider intern and hopes that her journey at the LA Times can, in due time, go beyond just one summer. She has written an array of stories ranging from entertainment and representation, environmentalism, politics and culture — all of which stem from the observant way she looks at the world.
Sarah Wang | @sarahcwang
Sarah Wang is a rising junior at Arcadia High School. As a teen activist, Sarah combats issues she is impassioned to reform through her creative works, leadership positions, advocacy and civic engagement. Being a second year member of the Student Advisory Board, she strives to ensure all teens feel they have a voice in their community, and that they are able to advocate for their beliefs through any medium of self-expression they choose to pursue. By doing this, she hopes High School Insider becomes as inclusive as possible to all.
Noor Aldayeh | @nooraldayeh
Noor Aldayeh is a rising senior at South Torrance High School. As a current member of the Student Advisory Board at HS Insider, Noor is a passionate student leader and writer who aims to make a difference in her community. Her previous experience with multiple leadership programs and involvement in school contributes to her enthusiasm for human connection. She aims to learn about as many individuals stories as she can. In addition to being absolutely ecstatic about interning at the Times this summer, she loves to overanalyze young adult novels, listen to unhealthy amounts of (weird) music and go on adventures with her friends.
Omar Rashad | @omarsrashad
Omar Rashad is a rising freshman who is a journalism major attending El Camino College. A son of Indian immigrant parents, he was born in Vancouver, Canada but moved to Torrance in 2009. He is especially interested in the nuanced ways culture and religion intertwine in contemporary society and looks to report on both topics in the future. He spends much of his time analyzing the contemporary hip hop scene and likes to spend weekday mornings watching Stephen A Smith yell about sports on ESPN’s “First Take.”
Nicole Funes | @NicoleFunes5
Nicole Funes, 16, is an incoming senior who anticipates becoming Editor-in-Chief for The Jaguar Times, South East High School’s newspaper. Since starting, she’s created the @thejaguartimes instagram page, competed for photography at the state level and founded the photography club at her school. She works on film as well, having been a cinematographer for CalArt’s Dorsey film academy last summer. In the fall, she attended Echo Park Film Center’s City of Angels session and Alchemical Nature’s Analog camera class in the spring. She aspires to be a bartender one day.
Blake Atwell | @blakeatwell5
Blake Atwell is a rising freshman at Santa Monica College. He is a driven multimedia journalist who enjoys telling sports, arts and feature stories. He has four bylines on the main page of the Times under Essential Education, producing content through writing, videography and photography. He is completing his second consecutive internship at the Times this summer and has also produced multimedia content for the CIF Southern Section, Prep2Prep Sports & others. Atwell looks forward to challenging himself this summer by finding new, intriguing ways to develop and construct meaningful stories.
Isabella Balandran | @papayapunx
Isabella Balandran is the High School Insider Co-Lead Producer and a journalism major at Orange Coast College. After interning with HS Insider the summer before her senior year at Mater Dei, Isabella discovered and fostered her passion for journalism. Between running the backend of HS Insider and serving as an editor on her school newspaper, Isabella enjoys keeping up with news, watching live music and spending time with her family and dogs.
Kevin Camargo | @_kevincamargo
Kevin Camargo is the Co-Lead Producer for HSI and is the college intern for the summer. He was a high school intern last summer and has been working with HSI ever since. This summer marks his one year anniversary working at the Times. Kevin is a South East High School alumnus and former Editor-in-Chief of his school paper, the Jaguar Times. He is from the city of South Gate and enjoys covering his city through multimedia pieces. He is going into his second year at East Los Angeles College and is the Online Editor for the school’s paper, ELAC Campus News. 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.
Jack Smith Fellow
Michael Rocha | @mrocha22
Michael Rocha is the Jack Smith Fellow for High School Insider. He is an English teacher at East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy, whose journalism students have partnered with High School Insider for over two years. Passionate about the written word, he enjoys sharing his love of literature and helping his students unlock their inner-writer. Michael is a native Angeleno who attended the University of Southern California and lives and dies with the Dodgers’ fortunes.
Molly Heber | @MollyHeber
Molly Heber is the newest addition to the HS Insider team. As the Project Lead, Molly seeks out every opportunity to work alongside young people to elevate their voices through education, the arts and civic engagement. Prior to joining the LA Times, she worked with students, educators and schools across Los Angeles to ensure greater access to college and career-readiness supports and the arts.