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The awesome way one school is helping students broadcast messages to the world.

They're reaching their community on a level above and beyond social media.

The awesome way one school is helping students broadcast messages to the world.
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XQ

After the tragedy of Michael Brown, kids everywhere were eager to have their opinions on the subject heard.

This was especially true in Missouri.

Student protest in Ferguson, Missouri. Image via XQ.


In the months following the shooting, there were numerous student protests over racial bias and discrimination. Young people were angry, and they wanted change — both in their hometowns and on the national level.

A Ferguson protest at Stanford University. Photo by Paul George/Flickr.

Today, the protests and fights for justice are ongoing because the problems are far from over. Many people turn to social media to keep the many conversations around these issues relevant, but that can sometimes feel like screaming into a void of millions of other voices.

The students of Ritenour High School had a special way to get their voices heard over the crowd though: a professional media lab.

Image via XQ.

The lab at the school near St. Louis, Missouri, is outfitted with all the tools the kids need to create fully produced radio shows and television broadcasts about the issues they care about and the news stories that affect them.

"Our school has been very forward-thinking with journalism," explains Jane Bannester, a teacher at Ritenour. "It wasn't just 'I'm doing an assignment and I'm turning it in.' It's 'I'm doing it, and there are people in our community who are hearing this and looking to us to tell these different stories.'"

The students genuinely feel like they're making a difference in speaking to their community at large.

It's also giving them the skills they need to work in media professionally.

The lab allows the students to get hands-on experience producing their own media programs so they can have a sense of how it's done in the real world. This type of training is vital for kids who want to pursue careers in the fast-paced world of journalism and broadcast news.

A student watches a television broadcast taping. Image via XQ.

Anyone can post their opinions on social media outlets, but it takes serious training and skill to get those opinions to reach a major audience. Ritenour's media program is giving its students the means to do just that in a way that counts.

It's no surprise that Rintenour is on its way to becoming an XQ Super School. XQ is helping schools nationwide adapt to an ever-advancing world. Their high-tech classroom is what people running the project hope all classrooms across the country will eventually look like — one that's filled with tools that will better prepare them to take on any career in media they choose.

Today, it seems like there's never not a "breaking news" moment. Thanks to this awesome media lab setup, you know these students will be covering them.

The Ritenour students may just be kids, but their interactive lab classroom has allowed them to be heard on a level that rivals local news stations.

In the not-too-distant future, the skills they're picking up in this classroom will help them rise up in the competitive media business, but right now, it's helping them realize their voices matter and deserve to be amplified.

Learn more at XQSuperSchool.org.

Check out their whole story here:

These students are telling stories that need to be told, and their community is listening.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

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It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

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