California Polytechnic State University senior Roselyn Romero thought she’d be doing nothing this past summer.
That was until she stumbled upon the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which helped her land a funded summer internship.
Housed at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, the Ida B. Wells Society is an organization dedicated to training reporters and editors of color, particularly in investigative journalism. Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand's Black Community Commitment recently donated a $1 million grant to the society, which will help fund future opportunities for Romero and other young journalists.
In addition to expanding summer internship offerings like Romero's, the grant will fund two new programs. The first is an All-Star Investigative Summer J-Camp, where high school students from majority-Black and Latinx schools will participate in a training program in partnership with a North Carolina historically Black college. It will also support a year-long investigative reporting project at Riverside High School in Durham, with local and national reporters coaching students through the process.
When considering what she wanted to do this summer, Romero knew she wanted a new challenge. She started searching for internships with national media.
But she ran into trouble while filling out applications.
“I didn’t have the connections, basically,” Romero said. “I didn’t know who the hiring managers were. I didn’t know who to address my cover letters to.”
Something as simple as the Ida B. Wells Society listing internship opportunities on their website was a revelation, she said. She was amazed that the society tweeted job alerts for investigative opportunities, making the tools she needed much more accessible.
Through the society, Romero applied for and received an internship position with the Associated Press Global Investigations team.