Youth Journalism International students in Bristol, Connecticut in 1995.
Thanks for signing up to join Youth Journalism International! We are glad you want to be part of this amazing organization that’s been working with young people since 1994.
First off, you should explore our website. It has thousands of student stories, cartoons, photographs and more dating back to our beginning. Some of those early students have gone on to illustrious careers in journalism, medicine, law, education and more. We’re so glad they’re a part of our YJI family — and we hope you will be, too!
Second, there is no charge to belong to YJI. You don’t have to pay a penny (though if your family has money, we are always in need).
YJI students in Toronto in 2014
Third, we have revised our system to give more students a chance to join. It requires that you take some initiative and show us that you are ready to do some work before we bring you aboard as a regular student. It’s actually a great way for you to leap into YJI, get published and become part of this worldwide community.
So what do you have to do?
First, read the YJI Student Handbook
. It doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. Some of it is even a little outdated. But it’s a great introduction.
Then, go read at least some of the Hometown stories
that students have written — or even all of them. They are quite different from one another but share a common focus on a place that some student feels is home. It doesn’t have to be a famous city or even someplace especially nice. We want to capture the variety of our world and the way you all think of your hometowns. Some will love them. Others, well, maybe not. Either way is fine.
After that is your opportunity.
We want you to write a hometown story. Tell us about where you live. You can be serious. You can be funny. You can write what you like, using your own words and ideas.
You should also take a few photographs of your hometown. They don’t have to be great, but they do have to be yours (if you don’t have a camera, send us an email after you finish your story and we’ll figure out how to deal with that). Don’t use pictures from the internet. Ever.
YJI students in Nigeria.
When you’re done, you should send the story to email@example.com. You should paste the text into the email and, if you can, also attach it or provide a link to it on the cloud. Pictures should be attached to the email in as high a quality as you can get that’s less than about 6 MB. Don’t paste the pictures into your story. Just send them separately and tell us in the email what each of them depicts.
Also in your email, you should tell us about yourself — where you live, how old you are and anything else that will help us get to know you.
If you have any questions, ask. We are glad to help.
You’ve already gotten further in this process than thousands of other students so take heart! We’re glad you want to join.
— Steve Collins, co-founder of YJI and board president
— Jackie Majerus, co-founder of YJI and its executive director
PS: If you want to see some of the best work YJI has done, check out its featured stories.
One more thing: The hometown piece is just a beginning. Once you’re in the group, you can write about all sorts of things. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of that opportunity. Build a relationship with us and with your fellow students. Youth Journalism International is only as rewarding as you make it!
YJI students in Scotland in 2016.