(HS Insider)

Meet the 2021 summer interns

L.A. Times High School Insider’s paid summer internship is an immersive professional learning opportunity where young journalists can experience the day-to-day life of a professional journalist. The program aims to teach students core journalism fundamentals and multimedia skills while exposing them to a professional work environment and mentorship at the Times.

This summer, HS Insider is hosting eight interns who will pursue stories about their communities, local arts, news, mental health and more. In partnership with the Tony Ross Internship Fund and the Jack and Denny Smith Memorial Fund for Literacy, interns will write stories, produce videos and podcasts and publish on latimes.com/hsinsider.

During the six week long virtual program, interns are immersed in intensive journalism training and are paired with editorial mentors who support their personal and professional development.

(Photo courtesy of Payton Zarceno)

Payton Zarceno is a rising senior at Mt. SAC Early College Academy and has been a part of her school’s journalism program for three years as an editor. She enjoys interacting with people and listening to the stories that they have to tell.

Zarceno also enjoys using multimedia aspects such as broadcast video and podcasts when telling stories. She likes writing about local issues, especially the impact on young people and their perspectives.

She also enjoy taking care of her nails and listening to true crime podcasts.



(Photo courtesy of Maria Guadalupe Alegria)

Maria Guadalupe Alegria is a rising senior at Middle College High School in Santa Ana. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief for her school’s newspaper, the Spellbinder. She’s written for the Spellbinder since her sophomore year.

Her interest in journalism roots in the role it plays in my community such as informing the people and giving them a voice. She likes to write features, news, and opinion stories.

She likes to be creative artistically and enjoys painting, working with clay, and making jewelry. She’s also a big animal lover and hopes to be a teacher one day.



(Photo courtesy of Gerardo Hernandez)

Gerardo Hernandez is a graduate of Elizabeth Learning Center where he wrote for his school’s newspaper The Bulldog Print. He covered the 2020 presidential election, the 2021 inauguration fashion, and how the federal and state governments provide financial relief to college students. Hernandez will attend Humboldt State University this fall.

He’s excited to have the chance to cover news and entertainment. He’s also interested in working in the political field one day and hopes to become an elected politician serving office.



(Photo courtesy of Karly Ortiz)

Karly Ortiz is a graduate of Don Antonio Lugo High school. This fall, she will attend Cal State Fullerton as a journalism major. She was in her school’s journalism class for four years and was an editor for three years.

She’s most interested in writing opinion pieces, features, and looks forward to improving her photography skills.




(Photo courtesy of Yejin Heo)

Yejin Heo is a rising senior at Northwood High School. She is originally from South Korea but has grown to feel so at home in Irvine, Calif.

Features are her favorite stories to write, but she’s also interested in entertainment journalism and column writing. She’s always on the lookout for people and events to cover near her, and absolutely loves writing compelling and inventive articles that capture unique personal narratives.

She is at all times thinking about intense cooking shows, crafting Spotify playlists and can be easily won over with a warm cookie.


(Photo courtesy of Kate De La Torre)

Kate De La Torre is a graduate of Maywood Center for Enriched Studies and will attend Santa Monica College in the fall as a journalism major.

As a former MaCES student, De La Torre participated in the school’s newspaper and published stories about societal issues like domestic abuse, racism and police brutality. Other than journalism, painting, making collages and illustrating are some of De La Torre’s favorite activities to indulge in.



(Photo courtesy of Diego Camacho)

Diego Camacho is a rising senior at Collegiate Charter High School of Los Angeles. As a U.S. citizen born abroad, Camacho has experienced life in Mexico and multiple U.S. states throughout his early life.

His interest in politics and STEM drives his journalistic exploration and an insatiable appetite to learn! “Gravitating” towards research and opinion pieces, Diego is always looking for new and exciting ways to explore, inform, and share in the digital age.

In addition to writing for High School Insider, Diego maintains an online portfolio through Instagram, where he documents his artistic and scientific endeavors.

(Photo courtesy of Grace Lee)

Grace Lee, a rising senior at Buena Park High School, serves as the Editor-in-Chief of her school paper, Paw Prints, and a Student Advisory Board Member at HS Insider.

As a multimedia journalist, she is keen on highlighting youth voices and strives to report on Gen Z-centric issues.

Her interest in journalism stemmed in the 9th grade from her eagerness to share people’s stories. Since then, she has developed a passion for feature writing, in which she hopes her articles will inspire and empower change makers around the world.

In her leisure, you can find her knitting away with a Life Kit podcast episode playing in the background.