CSPA Greenman Leadership Scholars
Thanks to the support of the Reckson Foundation, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) has been able to offer 61 students from around the U.S. the opportunity to attend CSPA programs in 2023 through the Greenman Leadership Grant Program. Seven students attended the 99th Annual Spring Convention in March, 24 students joined other students from around the world to attend the 2023 Summer Journalism Workshop, and 30 additional students were selected to attend the 2023 Fall conference in November.
At the Spring Convention, students could choose from 230 sessions over a three-day period. Subjects ranged from the basics, such as writing and editing, to discussions about investigative journalism, strategic social media usage, and the ChatGPT and AI in the student newsroom.
At the Summer Journalism Workshop, students could elect for in-person study on campus or virtual learning. Courses for students were offered in Editorial Leadership, News Reporting and Writing, Design Concepts, and News Redesign. The Greenman Leadership Grant provided recipients with tuition, on-campus accommodation, travel, and meals. Commuting students received tuition and a commuting and meal allowance for the week. Virtual students received tuition. Students from 10 states and the District of Columbia attended the program.
The impact was great; students such as Matthias, co-editor of his high school publication, expressed how his experience in the Editorial Leadership track at the Summer Journalism Workshop was transformative and reinforced his passion for journalism. “The Greenman Grant was honestly spectacular…I really wanted to be a part of this program to learn because knowledge is power…I want to improve my craft. And so [the grant] helped me with just this opportunity to come here, which I never thought I'd be able to do before.”
“Learning from other people as a collective—me being able to share my knowledge and then being able to share theirs—helps us come together and be better journalists collectively…As an Afro-Latino, I grew up in a very marginalized community. [There weren’t] a lot of opportunities available for me.”
While at the Summer Workshop, news broke about the Supreme Court Affirmative Action decision. That same day, Matthias started to plan coverage for his website. “We already got some of our social media coverage out there gauging how our community…is feeling so far…We're already starting an editorial, just talking about how this is going to affect us, why it's important, and why people in our community should care. And why it's going to be affecting some people in our community, like us—like other kids that don't necessarily have the voice and the platform to express how they feel and why this affects them. So I'm trying to put myself aside and I'm doing okay at it. But we’re working. And that’s our job.”