Student Testimonials

OUR STUDENT EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROGRAM

The Center for Sustainable Journalism publishes multiple projects including Youth Today, The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE), Fresh Take Georgia and Bokeh Focus. Our student experiential learning opportunities provide Kennesaw State University students with real-world experience while they work on their degrees. We pride ourselves on employing and training these students.

The Center offers KSU students experiential learning opportunities in sales and marketing, investigative journalism, photography, videography, social media management, website development, grant writing and fundraising, event planning and more.

Here you can read testimonials from students who have worked at the Center in various jobs. Many have graduated and moved on to full-time work; some have been hired by the Center to continue their work with us.

Are you are interested in sponsoring a student or interviewing our students ready to enter the workforce?

Call us today at (470) 578-2975 or email Chelsey Tabakian Odom at ctodom@csjournalism.org.


Adyson headshot

ADYSON HARRAH
Fresh Take Georgia: Reporter and Podcast Host/Producer, 7 months
Journalism and Emerging Media Major, Graduation Spring 2021

“Working at the Center for Sustainable Journalism was the defining experience of my college career. Covering the Georgia Legislature for Fresh Take Georgia was an incredible way to get hands-on, real-world experience reporting on important issues impacting people in Georgia. At CSJ, I learned what it really means to be a journalist. By speaking with legislators, community leaders and ordinary people alike and publishing their stories on a platform with a real audience, I have developed skills and learned lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my career. If you are looking to elevate your journalism game, CSJ is where you need to be.”


AFRICIA RABAREAFRICIA RABARE
CSJ: Special Projects Assistant
Master of Arts in Integrated Global Communication, Graduation Fall 2020
Career Success, Spring 2020: Graduate Assistant at KSU Department of Sports and Recreation- in Marketing Department

“My stint at the Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ) was rewarding. It was my first job in the U.S and luckily amongst a cordial, energetic, encouraging team. I had the opportunity to apply my digital media skills, expand my research abilities and polish my planning and organization skills. Inasmuch as my time at CSJ was short, it was my stepping stone to the American job market, and I am grateful for the organizational ethos the team reflected because it gave me the insight to realize my potential and the energy to keep pushing the envelope. Thank you, CSJ!”


ALI-SARDAR

ALI SARDAR

CSJ: Assistant Website Developer and Editor, 29 months
Applied Computer Science Major, Engagement Marketing Minor, Graduation Spring 2019
Career Success, Fall 2019: Ecommerce Specialist at Pearlman Group

“CSJ was an important stepping stone into my junior year as an ACS major. I had the opportunity to develop mobile apps for users to access CSJ’s projects on their smartphones. My experience at CSJ will provide future opportunities for me. My personal ambition is to become an entrepreneur combining my love for photography and my degree in ACS.” 


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ALLEXA CEBALLOS
Fresh Take Georgia: Reporter/Podcast Host/Producer, 7 months
Journalism & Emerging Media Major, Graduation Spring 2021

“Reporting on the Georgia Legislature was an incredible opportunity to step outside my comfort zone as a journalist. In a single semester I interviewed numerous lawmakers, covered breaking news and learned the ins and outs of producing professional quality audio content. Every week, my fellow interns encouraged one another, and our editors offered invaluable guidance and knowledge. This experience has given me the confidence to step into any newsroom. Thank you, CSJ.”


AMBRIAAMBRIA MARICE CLAY
JJIE & Youth Today: Social Media Manager, 7 months
Psychology Major, Graduation Fall 2019

“In addition to the financial help I receive as payment for my job to make my way through school, the skills that I’ve learned from working at Youth Today, such as social media management and analytics, will give me an advantage over others as I apply for jobs once I graduate.”

 

 

 

 


 Arianna LashaARIANNA LASHA 
Bokeh Focus: Photography Curator & Editor, 7 months     
Journalism & Media Major, Psychology Minor, Graduating Spring 2021
Career Success, Spring 2020: Intern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

“I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to intern at the CSJ. In my position I’ve learned many valuable skills and lessons that will prove beneficial in any job, and in life. I was allotted creative freedom, which allowed me to produce quality graphics, videos, web design and photography for the CSJ. I was the point of contact for project partners, which helped me expand my leadership abilities. In all, I’m grateful to have been surrounded by an excellent team of motivators and supporters who taught me how a successful newsroom was run. It was a great experience and I’m excited for what’s next to come.”


ASHLEY AUSBURN

ASHLEY AUSBURN
Bokeh Focus: Photography Curator & Editor
Journalism and Merging Media Major, Graduation Fall 2019

"Working at the CSJ has been an incredible experience. It's allowed me to grow my passion for photography and gain skills that'll allow me to succeed in my field while working alongside some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. I'm thankful for the real-world experience that the CSJ has given me and look forward to what comes next."


Ciara Lawrence

CIARA LAWRENCE
Bokeh Focus: Marketing Research Intern, 1 month
Marketing Major, Coles Scholars Minor, Graduation Summer 2020
Career Success, Spring 2020: Emma Bowen Fellow, and MBA Programs Student Assistant

“The opportunity to work at the CSJ has been an amazing experience. It has allowed me to use my skillset to find various photographers across the world. I have learned how to manage a social media account, which will be beneficial for my career in the future. Working with the CSJ team in a virtual setting has been wonderful because everyone is so helpful. Marketing research, communications and management were skills that I was able to hone from this internship. I am thankful for the real-world experiences and projects I have worked on, and I am forever grateful for having this opportunity. Overall, working here has been a great experience. I look forward to the next chapter in my life!” 


 CHRISTOPHER-NIXCHRISTOPHER NIX
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 11 months
Marketing Major, Information Systems Minor, Graduation Fall 2018
Career Success, Fall 2019: Corporate Data Analyst at Nolan Transportation Group (NTG)

“Working at Youth Today gave me great opportunities to develop professionalism and understand the importance of consistent hard work and dedication to achieve my goals. I was able to carve a path toward my career goals and overcome any obstacles that came my way. I thank Youth Today for allowing me to work alongside people who not only wanted to see me succeed, but also lend a hand in the next step in my career.”


DANIEL-ROTENBERGDANIEL ROTENBERG
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 4 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Fall 2017
Career Success, Fall 2019: Premium Guest Services at Delaware North

“Working here has helped me with my email and phone etiquette a lot. Prior to working here, I always found it to be kind of awkward emailing and calling people I have never met, but now I feel much more comfortable. In addition to that, managing a customer base on this level has helped me with my own pool of customers as well — setting in place certain processes to ensure nobody slips through the cracks, etc.”


DANIELLE SAINT-VILDANIELLE SAINT-VIL
CSJ: Special Projects Assistant
M.A. Integrated global Communication, Graduated Fall 2019
Career Success, Spring 2020: Freelance Television Producer & Production Manager

"As a Special Projects Assistant with CSJ I was able to work on and expand the largest spreadsheet I had ever seen! I learned about library database acquisitions, which I plan to incorporate into other business acquisitions in the future. Working with Chelsey and John was a pleasure and the office loves to celebrate one another. As the digital platform host for the Bokeh Focus event, I was able to interact with many of the student photographers and CSJ supporters. I truly valued the partnership with the Maya Heritage Community Project and I hope that we all continue to work together in the future!"


FAYE-CALLAN

FAYE CALLAN
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 8 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Fall 2017
Career Success, Fall 2019: Client Partnership Manager at CJ Affiliate

“Youth Today has helped me grow my professional skills and given me great insight as to what to expect after graduation. I can apply the knowledge in interviews, and future employers are always very impressed with my experience. It has been a great transition from a classic college job in the next chapter of my life. I have accepted a job offer with Granite Telecommunications.”


GABEGABE VALEANU
CSJ: Grant Writing & Fundraising Apprentice, 11 months
Economics Major, Graduation Spring 2019
Career Success, Fall 2019: Project Manager 1 at Comcast

“My time at the CSJ taught me so much while allowing me to feel like I was making an impact with my work. Thanks to understanding and hard-working mentors, I feel prepared to take on the world in my career and am more aware of my skill set and how to use it. Because of my time at the CSJ, I was able to land an important internship with Comcast that I believe has the potential to become a full-time job.”

 

 

 


Gabriel SternGABRIEL STERN 
CSJ: Dow Jones Fellow & CSJ Editorial Intern, 2.5 months
Newspaper, online journalism and policy studies majors, Graduation May 2021
Career Success, Spring 2020: Enterprise Editor for The Daily Orange

“I was lucky enough to report for CSJ from my off-campus apartment near Syracuse University, where my editors trusted me to pitch my own stories based on my familiarity with upstate New York. I appreciate the independence I was given and the team that I got to work with. My news judgement improved this summer, and I now have a deeper understanding of what makes stories — and the way in which they’re reported — relevant to readers halfway across the country.”

 


GIAGIA FORE
CSJ: Grant Writing Apprentice, 6 months
English Major, Graduation 2017
Career Success, Spring 2019: Working for The Council of State Governments

“I wanted to say thank you guys for this amazing opportunity! I’ve learned so much in my time of working at CSJ and I truly appreciate all of the knowledge and experience you have given me. My perceptions of nonprofits and grant writing have changed for the better. There is a lot of time, work, passion and energy needed to run nonprofits, which someone on the outside looking in won’t see. It is truly an honor to be immersed in such an amazing environment and to be surrounded by such hard-working people.”


HANNAHHANNAH MARTIN
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 12 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Fall 2019

“Getting the opportunity to work at the CSJ has been one of the greatest experiences of my college career. Throughout my time here, I have learned a ton about sales and professionalism while also building lasting relationships. The team here is truly like a family and we are constantly teaching and learning from each other. I will definitely carry all of the valuable things I have learned on with me to my future career.”

 

 

 


 JAIDEN HARRINJAIDEN HARRIN
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 5 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Spring 2023
Career Success, Spring 2020: Library Assistant at Horace W. Sturgis Library

"My time at the Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ) has assisted me in developing skills crucial to my planned career pathway. I have learned how to professionally interact with clients, manage accounts and successfully generate sales. Although working as a circulation marketing associate has pushed me out of my comfort zone, it has taught me the importance of detail orientation and dedication. Thank you, CSJ!"

 

 


 KATIE CHICASKATIE CHICAS
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate,
Marketing Major, Graduation Spring 2021
Career Success, Spring 2020: Intern, H3 Media Agency

"Working at Youth Today has been an amazing experience and I will forever be grateful. Although my time here was short, I got the chance to meet some of the kindest and friendliest people. It has helped me become more comfortable with communicating with others and helped me get a better understanding of sales. I've greatly enjoyed my time here." 

 

 


Kiersten Headshot

KIERSTEN CASTLEBERRY
CSJ: Assistant Social Media Coordinator, 27 months
Graduation Fall 2022
Career Success, Fall 2021: Communications Coordinator, The Vine Community Church

“Working at the CSJ was without a doubt one of the most beneficial experiences for my career. I was given plenty of guidance when learning about social media marketing, business operations in journalism, and more. This organization was able to provide me with many opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. Because of the CSJ, I have had the ability to grow my resume while gaining new and valuable skills that will help me succeed in the future. I am so thankful for the wonderful team that has supported me throughout this journey.”


 LAUREN-GAINESLAUREN GAINES
Youth Today: Marketing Assistant, 14 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Spring 2019
Career Success, Spring 2020: Marketing Specialist at Allbound

“I have been able to use the experience I have gained over the past year in order to secure a job at Kennesaw State Athletics starting in the fall of 2018. My Youth Today job has given me vital experience that makes me stand out when I am interviewing for new jobs.”


MELODYMELODY RAQUEL MCLAURIN
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate and Center for Sustainable Journalism: Videography Assistant & Assistant Social Media Coordinator, 24 months
Media and Entertainment Major, Film Minor, Graduation Spring 2020

“During my time at the CSJ, I was able to grow in many ways. This job has introduced me to a variety of potential career avenues such as sales, social media, videography, and journalism. I feel as though I can successfully take on the world. I am grateful for the chance to gain experience and diversify myself for future careers and internships. “

 


 NATALIE FUQUANATALIE FUQUA

CSJ: Grant Writing & Fundraising Apprentice
English Major, Graduation Summer 2020
Career Success, Spring 2020: Library Assistant at Horace W. Sturgis Library

"I gained invaluable experience at the CSJ under the supervision of Chelsey and John. In my role as the grant writing and fundraising apprentice, I learned how to run a fundraising campaign to cultivate individual donors for nonprofits — something I would have never known how to do otherwise! I can also say I developed expert knowledge on using MailChimp to create marketing materials. I'm now equipped with a set of killer business and writing skills thanks to my time at the CSJ."

 


NILES ENILES ELMORE
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 11 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Spring 2021

“Working at Youth Today has helped me grow as a person and on a business level. The people I worked with are the nicest people I have ever met, and it felt like I had a second family. My mentors helped me succeed in my work and pushed me to be better and shared their knowledge about being in sales. I will forever remember my time here at the CSJ and I will always be thankful.”

 


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OLIVIA GOSS
CSJ: Fundraising and Grant Writing Apprentice, 17 months
English Major, Graduation Summer 2022
Career Success, Fall 2021: Job at Passion City Church

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at the Center for Sustainable Journalism. The CSJ’s mentorship has been invaluable for my growth as a young professional, writer and person. Over the past year and a half, the CSJ has given me the opportunity to explore and develop my skills in writing, design, campaign development and content creation. I feel lucky to have been able to work with such an amazing and supportive team. I am excited to take the skills I learned at the CSJ into all my future endeavors! Thank you for everything CSJ!”


 FETZEKRYAN FETZEK

Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 13 months
Professional Sales Major, Graduation Spring 2017
Career Success, Spring 2019: Business Development Representative at Urjanet

“Working at Youth Today has helped me grow on both a personal and business level. I have worked on and fine-tuned my skills in sales, including cold calling, overcoming rejections, finding decision-makers and closing deals. On a personal level, working for Youth Today has taken me out of my comfort zone and made me a more social person. The skills I have learned while working at Youth Today got me a post-grad job at Granite Telecommunications.”


sam

SAMANTHA GAGE-DELUCA
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 5 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Fall 2021

“Working at Youth Today has given me great opportunities to explore a career pathway in marketing. I learned how to network and build relationships with current and potential clients. I have a better understanding of sales, which will help me in my future career path. I will use the professional skills I have learned from Youth Today in all of my future opportunities.”


 SAVANNAHSAVANNAH DALY
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Sales Associate, 6 months
Marketing Major, Graduation December 2019
Career Success, Fall 2019: Communications Intern at Elevanta

“Youth Today has taught me essential skills that will be extremely beneficial for my field — from learning how to speak on the phone with clients professionally, to selling the product, to coordinating with other organizations. Working here not only helps me gain experience in professional selling, but also self-confidence and behavior in a professional environment.”


SHANNONSHANNON JONES
Youth Today: Advertising Account Manager, 15 months
Marketing Major, German Studies Minor, Graduation Summer 2017
Career Success, Fall 2019: Mortgage Loan Officer at MiLEND, Inc

“Youth Today has given me the freedom and support to pursue my future career. The flexibility of the schedule and support of my manager and colleagues helped me look for a full-time position. I am now working at MiLend.”


SHAWNSHAWN EDWARD REYNOLDS
Youth Today: Circulation Marketing Associate, 9 months
Marketing Major, Graduation Spring 2018
Career Success, Spring 2019: Regional Account Manager at Granite Telecommunications

“This job helped establish my professional experiences in the sales field. Worked around my school schedule and provided internship/co-op credit. I accepted another job opportunity due to Youth Today and my experience I had there. “


TAMMYTAMMY LE
Youth Today: Marketing Assistant, 1 month
Marketing Major, Graduation Fall 2018
Career Success, Spring 2019: Marketing Communication Intern at Kaiser Permanente

“Youth Today is awesome! I have only been here since July but I have improved on my attention to detail, organization skills and how to use Google Drive. Youth Today is surely shaping me into the best person I can be.”

 

 

 

  


TanasiaTANASIA KENNEY
CSJ: Conference Coordinator & Social Media Assistant
Communication major with a focus in Journalism & Citizen Media, Graduation December 2015
Career Success, Spring 2020: National Real-Time Reporter for McClatchy News

“I feel my time at the CSJ prepared me to work in a collaborative news environment alongside experienced journalists who worked together to produce a quality publication. I saw first hand the hard work that goes into putting out a print newspaper bi-monthly, and it made me appreciate the editorial process that much more.”


TAYLORTAYLOR FINNELL BARTLOW
Youth Today: Hybrid Circulation Marketing Associate & Advertising Account Manager, 14 months
Professional Sales Major, Graduation Spring 2017
Career Success, Spring 2019: Sales Director at Georgia Bridal Show

“CSJ and Youth Today gave me invaluable sales experience. I had the opportunity to learn about office etiquette, and how to speak better on the phone and successfully close deals. I had many interviews throughout the last semester, all of which were with recruiters and VPs of sales. Everyone I spoke with was very impressed with my experience selling Youth Today and the professionalism I had while speaking to it. I accepted a job offer with Granite Telecommunications. Thanks CSJ!”


ZORIZORI PERKINS
Youth Today: Marketing/Business Operations Assistant & Circulation Marketing Associate, 20 months
Marketing Major, Information Systems Minor, Graduation Spring 2021
Career Success, Spring 2020: IBM Marketing Intern

“I started working at Youth Today as a freshman, and I have gained so much experience for my career. I was able to build a strong resume from all the opportunities they offer. The skills I gained from working at Youth Today allowed me to land a recurring paid internship position at State Farm.”

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