July 11 – 21, 2022. Online.
About the Institute
SPLC is proud to host the annual New Voices Student Leaders Institute, a free online program for students to improve their leadership and organizing skills, develop their role as leaders within the New Voices movement, and identify a strategy that could be instrumental in their state’s New Voices efforts.
Participants in the all-online program will be joined by SPLC staff, New Voices leaders, and special guests to learn their unique capacity as organizers, deepen their understanding of civics, lobbying and press freedom, and expand their ability to act as advocates. By the end of the Institute, Student Leaders will identify the pressing needs in their state and the unique ways in which students can respond, as well as possess the tools necessary to combat these challenges. Student leaders will also receive regular feedback and check-ins from New Voices advocates and SPLC staff, as well as bonus surprises throughout the school year.
The Institute will run from July 11-21, and participants should expect to participate from Monday – Thursday from 1pm-4pm Eastern/10am-1pm Pacific time.
Participation in the Institute is free, but students will commit to serve as student leaders in the New Voices movement during the 2022-2023 advocacy year. Student leaders will:
- Identify the unique outreach and/or organizing needs within their state, and develop a strategic plan to achieve desired outcomes;
- Attend regular Zoom strategy sessions and trainings throughout the school year (dates TBD); and
- Engage with key New Voices advocates in their state on the overall advocacy plan.
Meet the 2022-2023 New Voices Student Leaders
Kaden Bryant — Oviedo High School
I grew up in Massachusetts but moved to Florida around age 10, which is when I first found my passion for writing. I currently work for a reading/writing app and love to write books, songs, poems, short stories and articles. I’m the editor-in-chief of the Lion’s Tale newspaper at Oviedo High School. I regularly attend Seminole County board meetings and have been publicly speaking at them for a few months about LGBTQ+ rights and censorship. I’m also an avid cat/dog enthusiast.
Felicity Chang — Pine View School
Felicity Chang is the Editor-in-Chief of PVTorch.com, an online student-run publication serving Pine View School. She was one of four finalists for the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s 2021 Emerging Young Journalist award and was admitted to the Asian American Journalist Association’s 2022 JCamp cohort. With a keen interest in both digital media and advocacy, she is determined to work with the New Voices movement to preserve student press freedom in her local community and across the nation.
Alyson Mizanin — Pine View School
My name is Alyson Mizanin, and I’m excited to serve as my school newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief in the coming year. I’ll forever be indebted to student journalism, as it has been a steadfast constant throughout my time in high school. I want to give back to the medium that has afforded me so much over the years, and working with New Voices is the perfect way to achieve that goal. I hope to collaborate with fellow student leaders and pave a path toward strengthening student press freedoms in my county.
Vikram Sambasivan — T.R. Robinson Senior High School
Vikram Sambasivan is a rising high school junior in the IB program at T.R. Robinson High School in Tampa, FL. He is the News & Features Section Editor for his school’s newspaper, ‘RHS Today’ and its print edition, ‘Knight Writers.’ He particularly enjoys writing pieces on current affairs, movie reviews, opinion pieces, and recently, sports photography. In his spare time, Sambasivan dabbles in Tennis, competitively rows crew for Team Tampa and watches films. He recently completed an internship at Paper.co, a Toronto based education start-up, in the marketing department and finished his term as Treasurer of the Robinson Student Government Association.
Rebekah Bushmire —McIntosh High School
My name is Rebekah Bushmire, and I am a Junior at McIntosh High School where I have been involved with the journalism program for several years. I am the new Editor-in-Chief of our newspaper, the McIntosh Trail, and the Managing Editor for our yearbook, the McIntosh Legend. The pressure to censor content and topics is real and palpable. I have self-censored stories due to worry and fear about the response from administration. I believe student journalists should be encouraged to pursue all subjects without prior permission or censorship. New Voices resonates with me because too many young journalists are silenced by higher powers and I think they deserve to be heard. I believe in the freedom of the press, and believe it is essential that young voices be heard through the censors and the noise. To experience liberty, the press is not a nicety to enjoy. It is a cornerstone. It is the Fourth Estate. “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of the state.” – John Adams
Rohan Movva — Fulton Science Academy
My name is Rohan Movva and I am a rising senior in Milton, GA. I currently serve as my news team’s executive producer managing the show. I have been involved in journalism for all my highschool career and throughout this process censorship has been so prevalent not only in my school, but neighboring schools as well. We as student journalists have rights outlined by the 1st amendment; I am looking to create change longer than the 34 year precedent of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier and will work as long as it takes to create that change. Once a journalist always a journalist, it’s our duty to help each other. Georgia has no legislation yet, but I am determined to work hard to create change.
Sadie Good — Lake Zurich High School
My name is Sadie Good, I’m from Lake Zurich Illinois, and the reason I feel so strongly about New Voices is really quite simple: I’ve experienced first hand what it feels like to have your voice silenced as a student journalist. And let me tell you, it is one of the most infuriating and hopeless feelings I’ve ever felt in my entire life. It’s horrible to bleed yourself dry for something you love only for the rug to be swept from under your feet, and though I and my fellow staff members were able to make our voices heard, I would like to ensure that what happened to us and countless other student press programs doesn’t ever happen again. Though we’re not often taken seriously, any student journalist could tell you we love what we do and are willing to fight tooth and nail for it. And I think that New Voices is the perfect way to do that.
Brennan Eberwine — DuPont Manual High School
Brennan Eberwine is a student journalist and hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. He first started becoming more active when in 2021, school board meetings and controversies over “Critical Race Theory” prompted him to write an article about it. He has since worked with the ACLU of Kentucky on lobbying and testifying, won numerous awards, and will be Editor-in-Chief of Manual RedEye next year.
Aarushi Bute — Marquette High School
My name is Aarushi Bute and I am the Editor-in-Chief of the nationally award-winning Marquette Messenger and Rockwood Lives! Rockwood Lives is essentially a district wide publication that aims to give students a platform to voice their own stories through a series of creative, non-fiction essays. For the entirety of high school, I have been a journalist and I strongly believe in student voices as we are the catalyst for change. I have always been especially interested in politics and student stories and with the New Voices Student Leaders Institute, I hope to use the resources to foster the New Voices legislation for press freedom.
Elizabeth Hayes — Liberty High School
I am Elizabeth Hayes, I am from Wentzville Missouri, and I feel strongly about New Voices because I believe that no matter what no one should be stopped for staying what they believe in.
Noah Symes — Lee’s Summit West High School
Hello I’m Noah, and I’m from Kansas City Missouri. I enjoy history, journalism, choir, debate, speech, and politics. I feel strongly about New Voices because it is my personal ideology that a student press should have the exact same freedoms as all other forms of journalism. A free student press should be a guarantee. In my state of Missouri we have seen strong support for a New Voices law, but relative inaction from state senators. It is our job, through protest and advocacy, to make them to act. The student voice will not be silenced.
Adriana Rodriguez — Lyndhurst High School
Hello! I am Adriana Rodriguez and I am an upcoming Senior at Lyndhurst High School. I am the Editor-in-chief of my school newspaper, The Lighthouse. The New Voices movement helps empower student journalists and I’d like to do the same. Students should be able to write and publish the news they want to their communities without fearing censorship. Students deserve to express themselves without limits and I want to be a part of a movement that encourages student voices.
Ariana Tzanos — Academy of American Studies
My name is Ariana Tzanos (she/hers)! I am based in Queens, NY, and am a rising senior. I co-lead the Youth Civics Initiative; we connect young people to opportunities in the youth activist movement and publish articles covering news from the perspective of young people. Student journalism plays a vital role in school communities, and student journalists should not be silenced. Often, communication through written means is less frightening than the spoken word, and we must ensure young people have this freedom in their schools. Outside of New Voices, I love to paint, take walks, and engage in local politics.
Rayna Burke — Perkiomen Valley High School
My name is Rayna Burke and I am in the sophomore class at Perkiomen Valley High School. I am involved in many things from volleyball to art club, plus my school’s very own newspaper, “The Voice”. As a part of the student press who has written opinion articles on what I believe, my views are firmly in place of helping our state adopt the New Voice Law.
Anish Garimidi — Conestoga High School
Hi! My name is Anish Garimidi and I am a rising senior. I am editor-in-chief of our school’s award winning yearbook The Pioneer, which covers a lot more than just people’s pictures. From covering hot button issues and demonstrations, sports events, and student life events, I am constantly busy and armed with my camera and phone to get the story right. Outside of toiling away in InDesign, I regularly participate in voter registration activism and our school’s Ethics Bowl team. As a marginalized voice, I am always looking for ways to uplift my own voice and those of others.
Rylan Zupko — Slippery Rock High School
Hello, my name is Rylan Zupko and I am a Sophomore at Slippery Rock High School in Western, PA. In my personal time, I enjoy running, reading, and writing. Words are my wheelhouse, and I am an extroverted and driven individual with a love of asking questions to understand people’s stories, so I naturally gravitated towards journalism from a young age. The New Voices legislation is important to me because telling authentic accounts of the world should not just be limited to lenses that agree with a small portion of the population. In order to keep the voices of high school journalists true, passing laws protecting the rights of young journalists is imperative, and New Voices does just that.
Flora Farr — Communications Arts High School
My name is Flora Farr, and I am the Co-Editor in Chief of the student news site at my school, Communications Arts High School in San Antonio, TX. Because I am a member of the first class of student journalists at my school, I want to ensure that my school’s program has a foundation that encourages student free expression. I know that this free expression can not happen to its fullest without having prior review, prior restraint, and any other forms of student censorship eliminated from my school, my district, and my state. For this reason, I want to help in the fight for New Voices agreements in my district, if not the entire state of Texas. I want to feel that I have the ability to share the stories that are important to my student audience and I. I also want to help my staff and other students feel that they have that ability to express themselves.
Shelby Janual — Colonial Forge High School
I’m Shelby and I really enjoy journalism. I started journalism 5 years ago and fell in love with it instantly. I am currently working with the yearbook and am responsible for taking pictures and making write-ups of different events around the school, such as sporting events and theater events. I particularly enjoy photojournalism because I believe that pictures have the ability to tell stories better than an article ever will. I currently live in Stafford, Virginia, but as a military child I have moved all across the United States and worked with many different people.
Madeline Magielnicki — The Potomac School
My name is Madeline (or Maddie), and I am a rising junior at the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. Next year will be my third year writing for my school newspaper, The Potomac Pulse, where I currently serve as Managing Editor. I absolutely love to write and encourage other students to do the same by serving as a dedicated member of my county’s Teen Advisory Board as well. I hope to develop a greater understanding of my journalistic liberties and ways to better protect them through the New Voices program, as writing and journalism are critical parts of my everyday life. In my free time, you can find me reading, playing field hockey, or spending time with my cat, Pablo.