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Student talent at YJI Gala raises money for Global Conference in Istanbul

Youth Journalism International students from six continents worked hard to bring YJI supporters to its first-ever Global Gala, an event like no other. A recording of Saturday’s show, hosted by students from Turkey, the U.S., Poland and Nigeria, is now available for the public.

In short performances of music, art, spoken word, fencing, dance, competitive speech and ariel acrobatics, young people shared their diverse talents that sometimes aren’t visible in their journalism.

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Others shared a little bit of their part of the world, like Bilge Güven, a Senior Reporter from Istanbul who offered a tour of the Bosporus and new student Mayama Opare, who shared the delights available at a large food vendor stall in Accra, Ghana.

Güven said the Bosporus, the strip of water that runs through the city of Istanbul, is like YJI, because it “connects different people and continents.”

In the dedication to the Gala, students’ love for YJI came through loud and clear.

“I cannot imagine my life without YJI in it,” said Senior Reporter Norah Springborn of Pekin, Illinois, who helped host and also performed in the Gala.

Another host, Baylee Krulewitz, a YJI Reporter from West Hartford, Connecticut who joined last year, said the organization “has really been a magical experience for me.”

The students, who asked viewers to support YJI’s upcoming Global Conference in Istanbul with donations, shared why they believe that meeting in Turkey is so critical.

YJI Reporter Nargis Babar of Stockholm Sweden said she is excited to meet everyone in Istanbul, an experience she said will be “very valuable” to students because they will be able to truly collaborate.

Nalu Eze, a YJI Reporter from Nigeria, said she would not be able to attend the conference this year but that she wanted her fellow YJI students to be together in Istanbul so she could feel the spirit of the conference through her friends.

The conference in late June will bring students from four continents together for eight days of hands-on reporting, collaboration and friendship.

“We have long thought of YJI as a peace factory, connecting young people from widely different cultures and religions, building bridges that help bring more understanding and decency to a war-weary world,” said Steve Collins, YJI co-founder and board president.

To contribute toward the Global Conference in Istanbul, follow this link. Donations, which are tax-deductible in the United States, are also accepted on Facebook and by check, which can be sent to: Youth Journalism International / 30 Taylor St. / Auburn ME 04210.

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