Aspiring journalists at Talent Middle School working with PBS on Almeda fire story

TALENT, Ore — Two eighth graders at Talent Middle School are getting a head start in their journalism careers, covering a story that has impacted them personally.

Franklin Ramirez and Aaron Chavez are part of PBS’ NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. It’s a nationwide program that teaches students about the fundamentals of journalism like editing and reporting.

The students shared that they enjoy learning the aspects about the industry, and have been working with the PBS location in southern Oregon over the last six months.

For their first full story, Ramirez and Chavez are focusing on the impact of the Almeda fire and how families in the Phoenix-Talent School District are still affected by it. They interviewed superintendent Brent Barry on the district emerging from the devastating fire, and what it’s doing to assist the community.

Chavez said his family lives in Central Point, and he has to wake up early to catch two buses to school.

“I’m on the bus for at least a hour and a half so I can get to school,” Chavez said. “My hope is to move back closer to the school that I love.”

Ramirez shared that his family had to relocate five times within the last two years, and wants to do everything he can to help bring his community back together.

“My hope for the future is for my family and friends to move back into the boundaries of Phoenix and Talent.” 

There’s no timetable on when the students’ story will be shared to the public.

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