Now in its 27th year, AAJA Voices is a student program that provides aspiring journalists with career-ready skills to succeed in the continually-evolving media landscape. By nurturing relationships between students and professional volunteers, Voices also gives students the opportunity to tap into mentors’ networks and begin their own while also providing AAJA journalists leadership and management opportunities. 

'Voices is a family'

'Voices is a family'

2017 Student Testimonial: Aparna Verma

 
Aparna Verma, is a rising sophomore at Stanford and was a 2017 Voices student in Philadelphia.

Aparna Verma, is a rising sophomore at Stanford and was a 2017 Voices student in Philadelphia.

Being the youngest student in this year’s Voices group was a bit daunting.

Only a rising sophomore from Stanford, I was surrounded by upperclassmen and recent graduates who had interned at CNN or CBS News or NPR. Some knew how to make graphics in their sleep or whip out data visualizations or a beautifully crafted podcast within a few hours.

Our mentors were professionals who wrote for the Associated Press or the LA Times or the San Francisco Chronicle and other amazing organizations. I was overwhelmed.

 

But here’s the thing: Voices is a family.

It’s a big family, and you become a part of it as soon as you get that email that says, “Congrats! You’re in.” Everyone in the VOICES family whom I have met has been warm and welcoming.

They’ve answered my questions about what it takes to be a journalist, how to placate your parents (because many do not support our journalistic ventures) as well as brainstorm ideas about innovating journalism.

 

I pitched a story, fought for it and in the end, my team and I created a multimedia piece of which we’re quite proud.

Although I felt too shy to network, I was often dragged by mentors and introduced to journalists (such as from The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN), some of whom are fellow VOICES graduates. I saw journalists come together and share their work – and I became excited about my own future as a journalist.

I hope to take what I've learned and innovate video journalism by delivering news through social media platforms. The Stanford Daily has partnered with Snapchat, and I’m leading the team.

Voices is just a stepping stone. You take the leap.

 
Introducing the 2018 Alumni Advisory Board

Introducing the 2018 Alumni Advisory Board