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Student Reporting Labs with PBS

Laila Gheis ‘25 got some real-world training in the world of journalism this fall, as one of ten teens nationwide selected to participate in the Student Reporting Labs (SRL) with PBS NewsHour.  
Laila Gheis ‘25 got some real-world training in the world of journalism this fall, as one of ten teens nationwide selected to participate in the Student Reporting Labs (SRL) with PBS NewsHour.  

Laila first participated in a CloseUp program through Bryn Mawr, during which her classmates and peers across the country explored election issues and how to be better informed, active and engaged citizens. Laila wanted to continue her work and was accepted to the two-week SRL intensive program, which gave ten students an opportunity to develop their video production and storytelling skills to highlight diverse youth perspectives.

Laila was partnered with another student to conduct interviews with each other and edit a video.  In her own interview, Laila discussed immigration in the United States as experienced by her family. Laila’s parents immigrated to the United States from Egypt and spent nearly 20 years applying for citizenship. Laila’s partner from the Hockaday School in Texas spoke about social media and its impact on mental health. With the help of PBS producers, they both learned how to record an interview, the value of b-roll (the images that show over the audio of an interview), and how to put together a finished piece. The final videos are shared on YouTube.

Laila says her experiences at Bryn Mawr allowed her to take part in difficult conversations while learning and growing as a person. “Coming from a school where it’s all female voices, it’s very empowering,” she said.

The program culminated with a virtual screening event that included a panel of the student participants, as well as a short presentation on their projects. Although the event was held on Zoom, Laila felt the support of the Bryn Mawr community, “My family was present, my teachers were present, everyone was there for me. And Ms. Sadler was there, which was amazing,” she said.

Laila plans to continue raising awareness on the topic of immigration, which is clearly, close to her heart. “Talk about it. Create an awareness for it. Try to donate. It’s really important...as long as everyone continues to talk about it, we can strive for a better future.”
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