High School Insider summer intern Jaleyah Collier graduated from Augustus F. Hawkins High School and will attend Cal State Northridge in the fall. (Mel Melcon/L.A. Times)
Inglewood High School

Jaleyah Collier: Entertainment journalist in the making

Whether dancing with a drill team or a hip-hop crew, Jaleyah Collier has always been interested in entertainment. But now, the Augustus F. Hawkins High School graduate hopes to get involved with entertainment in a new way: through reporting.

She wants to find out if journalism is the career path she should pursue at Cal State Northridge.

Collier has begun exploring entertainment journalism through her summer internship with L.A. Times High School Insider, where she wrote about a clown group that helps mentor youths through dance. The group is run by Tommy the Clown, who invented clown dancing, a form of freestyle hip-hop dancing where performers dress like clowns.

“It came from a thing called krumping,” Collier said. “So what they do is paint their faces like a clown.”

Collier’s interest in entertainment journalism was sparked when she came across Homegrown Radio entertainment journalist Lupe Llerenas on Instagram.

The idea of being able to talk to and meet celebrities, like the hip-hop celebrities that Llerena interviews, is what made Collier want to explore entertainment.

“I was like, ‘Oh, wow. Her job looks cool,” Collier said, calling it dope.

Even though she developed an interest in entertainment journalism, her introduction to High School Insider was through a different type of journalism. Collier was featured in an L.A. Times article on students’ experiences with violence in their communities.

“I believe that’s when it sparked an interest in her to kind of be more interested and participate more in journalism,” said Renee Aresti, one of Collier’s mentors.

Collier’s mentor Jasmine Casa, whom she met through the welcome center at Hawkins High School, said her outgoing personality is what would make her a perfect journalist.

“Everyone who knows Jaleyah knows that’s a perfect job for her because she’s outgoing, she’s witty, she’s out there,” Casas said.