This summer, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider is proud to offer 8 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 LA84 Foundation, Jack Smith Foundation, and generous support of Richard Ross. Follow HSI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the interns’ work.
High School Interns
Jaleyah Collier | @CollierJaleyah
Jaleyah Collier is a graduate of Augustus F. Hawkins High School Community Health Advocates School, and will major in communication at Los Angeles Trade-Tech Community College. She plans to transfer to California State University, Northridge to become an entertainment music journalist. When she was in her junior year of high school, she fell in love with her journalism class and has had her mind set on doing some type of journalism ever since. She enjoys public speaking and eating Wingstop’s Louisiana Rub and Original Hot chicken wings.
Leslie Martinez | @snayeggo
Leslie Martinez, a rising senior at Inglewood High School, became the first to establish HS Insider at her school. She hopes to help her school improve its image and show the people of Los Angeles what it has to offer. Born in Koreatown, she moved at age 13 to the city of Inglewood, where she found her motivation and realized that the only way to succeed would be to go to college one day. Now she hopes through summer programs to discover what her passion is. So far she has learned that it involves being able to express herself through writing and art.
Shehreen Karim | @shehreenkarim
Shehreen Karim is a rising freshman at Pierce College. She was the Opinion Editor for Le Sabre, the newspaper of Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, and loves one-on-one interviews. She plans to major in both political science and journalism and hopes to create more engagement in local government through her articles. She seeks to bring awareness to social justice while empowering others and giving a voice to those with a story to tell. Coming from Bangladeshi immigrant parents, she hopes to empower the South Asian community through journalism.
Elijah Alavazo | @elijahalavazo
Elijah Alavazo is a rising freshman at California State University Long Beach majoring in communications. A native of Carson and alumnus of Carson High School, he joined the school’s journalism class his senior year and became Technology Editor. His passion for journalism comes from his overall interest in media and all things related to it. He isn’t afraid to take up a challenge and hopes the High School Insider summer internship will help him find a passion to pursue.
Aimee Bonar | @xaimeebx
Aimee Bonar is a rising senior at Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley where she is the first female Editor-in-Chief for the school’s newspaper, The Poly Optimist. Always making sure that her voice and opinions aren’t overlooked, she is passionate about the art of writing and the expression of thought, which she explores not only through journalism but through creative writing and poetry. As she continues her journey as a journalist, she hopes to spread awareness of the most pressing issues facing her school, community, and city, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to share his or her story and inspire others to do the same.
Claire Jones | @claireafornia
Claire Jones is an incoming freshman at New York University, where she plans on majoring in journalism. In the Creative Writing department at Orange County School of the Arts, she developed a passion for all kinds of writing. She has an intense love of the arts — specifically music, theatre and cinema. Through her journalism, Claire hopes to highlight the significance of art in today’s world, as well as focus on the importance of diversity, inclusion and youth in all forms of artistic expression.
Riona Sheik | @rionarsheik
Riona Sheik is a rising senior and co-founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Wildcat’s Tale, the first formal newspaper at Whitney High School in Cerritos. As a member of HS Insider’s Student Advisory Board and a Bangladeshi, she feels that South Asians are underrepresented in the political and media spheres and hopes to use her voice meaningfully inside and outside her community. Riona also loves politics and has interned in the offices of U.S. Representatives Judy Chu and Linda Sanchez. In her free time, she loves to travel and try different ethnic cuisines. From this internship experience, she hopes to challenge herself and share impactful stories from her own community and beyond.
Kara Smith | @Kurlefrie
Rising senior Kara Smith is the Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies High School newsletter, where she loves writing for the opinion section. Attending a predominantly non-black high school, she enjoys writing about issues in the African American community and about black women, hoping to dismantle the ongoing prejudice many black people experience. Smith also enjoys learning about different cultures and has a soft spot for ramen, sushi, mochi, and vegan Jamaican food (yes it’s a thing). She loves daydreaming, the color baby pink, and playing cards. As an intense believer in astrology, Smith identifies strongly with her Pisces traits. Smith plans on majoring in journalism in college and attending chiropractic school.
Jack Smith Fellow
Journalist and educator Joelle Keene is HS Insider’s Jack Smith Fellow this summer. Certified as a Master Journalism Educator by the national Journalism Education Association, Joelle teaches at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, where she advises the nationally award-winning Boiling Point and shalhevetboilingpoint.com. She lectures annually at national high school journalism conventions around the country and is founding executive director of the Jewish Scholastic Press Association, which works to improve journalism in Jewish high schools and to promote the consideration of religious values in newsroom decision-making. A graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Joelle earlier worked at the Tacoma News Tribune, Seattle Times and Los Angeles Herald Examiner, where she won national, state and local awards for education writing and investigative reporting. At Shalhevet, she also teaches music and directs the school choir, and in her spare time, she grows backyard roses and tomatoes.
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. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Molly loves to travel but deep down is all about California, having lived in Northern, Central and Southern California throughout her life.
Isabella Balandran | @papayapunx
Isabella Balandran is the High School Insider Co-Lead Producer and a journalism major at Orange Coast College with plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach. After interning with HS Insider the summer before her senior year at Mater Dei High School, Isabella discovered and fostered her passion for journalism. Between schoolwork and editing HS Insider student stories, 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 HS Insider and is the college intern for the summer. He started off as a high school intern in the summer of 2017 and has been working at the Times ever since. This summer marks his two-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 attended East Los Angeles College for the past two years and was Online Editor for the school’s paper, ELAC Campus News. He plans on transferring to the University of Southern California in fall 2019. 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.
Kate Sequeira | @kate_seq
Kate Sequeira assists with the back end of High School Insider and helps run the L.A. Times childhood literacy initiative Reading by 9. Kate was a student advisory board member for HS Insider during her senior year at San Dieguito Academy. She is now entering her junior year at USC, where she studies journalism and is the managing editor of the Daily Trojan.