Students participate in CNN leadership program



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Students chosen to participate in the ninth annual Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience includes many locals.

Hannah Farkas, Elizabeth Strom and Andres Rodriguez from Pinecrest Academy, Lemuel Cobbs from Alpharetta High School, Dominique Bell and Alice Zhou from Chattahoochee High School, Cynthia He and Insiya Essani from Johns Creek High School, Precious Smith and Maya Underwood from Roswell High School, and Andrea Marenco of Roswell who attends Marist School in Atlanta.

The program was held June 22-27 at CNN Center. Students stayed in dorms on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus.

The program accepted 78 rising junior and seniors from across the state and was hosted by 21st Century Leaders, CNN Worldwide and Turner broadcasting System.

The aim was to teach media literacy, journalism and leadership through workshops, tours and discussion groups. Topics included diversity, ethics in media and audience engagement.

Students participated in panels and mentoring sessions that included HLN’s Lynn Berry, CNN’s Victor Blackwell, Susan Grant executive vice president for CNN, and CNN Student News Host Carl Azuz.

Over 700 students have attended the program since it began in 2006.

At the end of the week, students presented a final group project. The projects were a news pitch to a panel of CNN professionals. Elizabeth Strom was a member of the first place group.

“If you really want something in life you have to take it. Nobody is going to give it to you,” said Pinecrest Academy student Andres Rodriguez about his final thoughts on the week.


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