Celebrating 25 years

By Rodrigo Saavedra, ’12, and Paige Yurek, ’12 (June 2012)

Twenty-five years ago, UMass Boston English professor Carole Remick helped found the New England High School Journalism Collaborative (NEHSJC), a non-profit program for high-school students seeking to further their writing skills and acquire journalism experience.

Aspiring students had many opportunities opened thanks to the lead of Remick and the support of The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, (a 53-year-old program dedicated to bring young prospective journalists into the field), Regis College, UMass Boston, The Boston Globe, and multiple professional, real-world journalists.

This year, participants chose “The Quarterly” as the newspaper title to honor the 25th anniversary of NEHSJC. The name represents the longevity of the program: a quarter of a century worth of writing, researching, reporting and editing. This valuable learning experience brought together hundreds of students of diverse backgrounds from New England over the years to create a newspaper within a week.

This process also allowed the students to build lifelong relationships with peers and professionals alike, creating lasting memories.

One NEHSJC alumna, Melissa Bardaro, experienced these opportunities in the summer of 2004 during her sophomore year at Revere High School, after she learned of the program through her newspaper advisor, Debra Colbert White. Bardaro admitted that for her first time coming to the program, she “was kind of nervous. It was my first time being away from home.”

But Bardaro said she “learned to conduct interviews, and how to write concise and clear leads,” and recommends the program to people looking to their improve writing. Bardaro shared that NEHSJC founder Carole Remick even offered to assist in getting her a job at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette after she first attended the program. “She boosted my confidence, and she knew how to deliver criticism constructively. She carried energy with her character, and she knew a lot of people, and helped a lot of my friends find and connect with jobs on newspapers,” Bardaro said.

Mike Carraggi, another alum of NEHSJC and a copy editor at the Boston Globe, attended the program for the first time as an incoming senior from Everett High School in 2006. After only working in his high school newspaper for two months. Carraggi admits that before the program, he had “never written, never had a writing class.” After the program, his interest in journalism soared.

“I was never expecting to be a journalist, but it just took off,” Carraggi stated. Carraggi owes a part of his success to Remick. “She taught me how to be accountable in my writing because she spoke her mind,” he explained. “She is unbelievable.”

As alumni of The New England High School Journalism Collaborative, we found that the program has provided us with a unique, rewarding opportunity to further our craft, become more open-minded to learning, and establish vital connections and friendships. We are honored to have been a part of this program’s 25th anniversary and look forward to several more.