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Helping Students Through Journalism

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By Mark Taylor –

English teacher Zelda Thomas is on a mission to win $50,000 to fund her students after-school project.

The goal of this project is to link businesses and students so that they may gain exposure to real world experiences.

By guiding her students in the production of their tourism magazine “That’s Coachella Valley” Thomas hopes to instill within them a sense of confidence and pride. She was inspired to start this project because she was concerned that most high school students lack the competency and professionalism needed to succeed in the workforce.

Thomas felt that it was imperative to provide her students with a realistic job atmosphere and has wasted no time in preparing them for the hard work ahead. Prior to the start of the project, Thomas’s students had to undergo a rigorous hiring process in which she selected the top candidates. In addition she has converted her classroom into an office complete with its own departments. She has chosen exceptional students to manage the departments while the remaining students work as researchers, interviewers, and photographers.

When the project is over students will have developed a plethora of skills in written and verbal interaction, research and effective communication.

Prior to working within the education system Thomas worked as a Public Relations agent and a journalist.

Though she has enjoyed success in these fields Thomas has always been drawn to supporting youth. This is apparent through the devotion she shows towards her students.

If Thomas wins the $50,000 prize she plans to buy laptops to further assist her students in their endeavors.

Once the magazine is completed it will be put into publication to raise money for scholarships. Those wanting to support Thomas in the Pepsi Refresh Project may do so by texting 102435 to 73744 or vote online at pep.si/akjySc until October 31st.

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