meet the 2016 vice-cencom fellows
Earlier this year, VICE Media and the Center for Communication partnered to launch a fellowship program that would place two journalism students from underrepresented communities at VICE’s New York office in Summer 2016.
We received over 300 applications from across the country. After poring through many impressive and worthy submissions, the Center recommended 11 finalists to VICE, who selected the final two lucky fellows: Janaya Greene and Adam Hamze. (VICE also invited 3 of the finalists to apply for their regular internship program, and 3 of the graduating seniors to apply for full-time jobs – we’re so proud of our students!)
Janaya and Adam began their eight-week fellowship on June 6, and are already entrenched within the VICE News team, but they took some time out to tell us a little more about themselves.
Vice Fellow: Summer 2016
Attends: Ohio State university
Graduates: May 2018
Janaya is a junior at Ohio State University, majoring in public affairs journalism and minoring in media production and analysis and African American and African Studies. She is the Social Media/Multimedia Editor for The Lantern, Ohio State’s student publication. She also is a contributing writer for Scenarios USA, a nonprofit focused on social justice issues. In her final year of high school on the South Side of Chicago, she wrote a short story, Veracity, about identity and acceptance that has since been turned into a short film and a curriculum distributed to high schools across the U.S.
Why did you want to be a summer fellow at VICE? I believe that VICE will allow me to learn more about what skills are necessary to be successful in investigative journalism and contemporary media. Out of all of my aspirations, my most important goal is to become a game changer. In order for me to be innovative in creating new media and journalism, I felt it was necessary to work with VICE, a company that has already been tremendously creative and inventive in the journalism industry; so inventive that VICE has been able to extend into documentary journalism on television, along with many other digital channels. I am dedicated to not only creating media for diverse groups, but also creating diverse media for audiences and VICE is a media company that I highly admire for its diverse content and audience. My creativity, willingness to challenge myself, and motivation to take media creation to a higher level, leads me to believe that VICE is the perfect company for me to display my communicative and writing skills while also learning what it takes to be a game changer in all facets of media.
What are some things you want to do in NYC while you are here? While I'm in New York City I'd like to visit well-known restaurants. Eating is one of my favorite things to do, especially being from Chicago. I've already visited Macbar (which is DELICIOUS by the way) so I hope to visit more good restaurants in the city. I'd also like to walk across the Williamsburg bridge. I take the train across the bridge to get to work and I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself to walk across it to experience it's beauty firsthand. I'd also like to visit the MOMA. I've been to every museum in Chicago multiple times over the years, so I'm excited to be exposed to new artsy environments. I'd also like to visit a taping of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The tickets are free on a first-come first-serve, therefore the lines form early. I'm hoping to enjoy an evening at one of the show's tapings before I leave.
What are your goals once you graduate? Upon graduation I hope to write for VICE media, Ebony magazine, or BuzzFeed. I would like my job to encompass news and digital media, as they both are passions of mine. As an early teenager I read magazines like Teen Vogue and Seventeen, which really hurt my self-esteem because I did not see many people who looked like myself. As a Black girl with a curvy body-type and large afro, I was convinced that I was supposed to look like the Caucasian women in the magazine because there were rarely any Black women that looked like me. After unsubscribing from Teen Vogue and working on my self-esteem, I learned that I was not alone in my feelings of exclusion. Though the magazine has done a tremendous job of being more inclusive today, there still are girls of color that feel left out by many mainstream magazines. For this reason, my ultimate career goal is to create a publication targeted at young girls of color for them to express their experiences of marginalization through all forms of art and writing. This magazine will represent women of color fairly, in hopes of letting them know that they too have a space and are just as capable of achieving their goals as their White counterparts..
VICE FELLOW: SUMMER 2016
ATTENDS: University of Texas at Austin
GRADUATES: may 2017
Adam is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in international relations and global studies with a minor in Middle Eastern studies. He worked as an editor, reporter, and columnist at The Daily Texan and Reporting Texas, UT’s student newspapers, and served as an Austin correspondent for The Houston Chronicle. Fluent in Arabic, Adam was selected for UT’s Arabic Flagship Program, which helps students reach superior proficiency through a summer institute and a yearlong capstone program in Meknes, Morocco. A first generation Arab-American raised in Austin, Adam is also an accomplished poet and board member of UT’s poetry organization, Spitshine.
Why did you want to be a summer fellow at VICE? I wanted to be a summer fellow at VICE so I could have the opportunity to work for a media organization that is doing a great job of adapting to the developing industry, as well as approaching storytelling at an angle unlike most other popular outlets. Stagnancy never seemed to be part of the culture of VICE, and that's what I need from a newsroom. Additionally, I wanted to branch out of Texas, and experience living and reporting from a place like New York City.
What are some things you want to do in NYC while you are here? I plan to do everything and anything while I'm in the city, from planned trips at tourist attractions to spontaneous adventures in unfamiliar neighborhoods. There's so much culture going on in NYC, especially in the art scene. I want to be engaging with all the beautiful events, places, and people the city has to offer, whether that be a lecture at the bookstore around the corner or a night concert at Prospect Park.
What are your goals once you graduate? After I graduate, I hope to combine everything I've been studying and working on throughout college -- international relations, Middle Eastern studies, Arabic, and journalism -- to go overseas and be a foreign correspondent in the Middle East. One of the reasons I got into journalism in the first place was so I could tell the stories of my own people, instead of someone else doing it for us. Reporting from the Middle East would be one of the most important ways to fulfill my commitment of using journalism to aid my community.