Tierra Smith stumbled onto her love of writing in high school when she was accidentally enrolled in a journalism course. Ms. Smith, now a rising senior at Grambling State University, is majoring in mass communications with a concentration in sports journalism.

When Titania Kumeh dropped out of college, she wanted to quit acting but not leave storytelling behind. Ms. Kumeh traveled to Ghana for six weeks and wrote about H.I.V. misconceptions and treatment in West Africa for The Ghanaian Times.

Glynn A. Hill is a storyteller, video journalist and sports commentator. Mr. Hill said managing his school paper gave him a platform to continue publishing stories that challenge stereotypes and facilitate conversation.

Chris Dell took a job next to his father, a sports reporter, at age 15. The recent CUNY grad, who has dabbled in entrepreneurship, said he wants to “challenge the assumptions of traditional journalism.”

Crystal Garner is searching for a career at the convergence of radio, print and web. Ms. Garner has worked with scientists at NASA and on her university’s student newspaper, where she covered minority issues on campus.

Tommie Albert Collins III dreams of working as a designer for a major news publication. Mr. Collins’ long-term goal is to open a performing arts school for students who come from less-than-privileged backgrounds.

Elijah Sinclair was immersed in religious culture from a young age. After developing an interest in photography, Mr. Sinclair learned to express culture and religion through images.

In elementary school, Shelby Boamah memorized short stories and recited them in competitions throughout New York City. Now 21, Ms. Boamah has produced a documentary and several public service announcements.

Taylor Turner sees journalism as a form of public service. Ms. Turner, a rising senior at the University of Texas, plans to pursue a career in international news as a producer or a broadcast reporter for a news organization.

When Débora Silva was a teenager, her favorite television show discussed social issues around the globe. The São Paulo, Brazil native then decided that she wanted to pursue visual journalism.

Kathryn Kenny is no stranger to the news. She learned how to conduct interviews at the young age of 12 and landed her first reporting gig at 14. Ms. Kenny, now 22, has covered several national educational issues.

Ian Kullgren has been worshiping The New York Times since he was a teenager. Mr. Kullgren covered a shooting and a bomb threat at high school’s newspaper, which showed him the importance of journalism.

Julia Craven tells “the stories of the people who lay on the margins of society.” Ms. Craven aims to bring what she learned from her coursework in African, African-American and diaspora studies to the industry.

Donnalyn Anthony traveled to 10 countries and documented her journey with pictures. This is when Ms. Anthony discovered photography was her calling. At the Institute, she hopes to expand her knowledge of multimedia reporting.

Shaheed M. Morris identifies as a journalist before anything else. The former mortuary student consumes as many as five newspapers each day and is constantly checking for news updates on his phone.

Mariana Dale once woke up at 4 a.m. and drove hours to nab an interview with a cattle rancher about state funding cuts for drought relief. Ms. Dale says she likes making complicated issues “accessible to people.”

Sade Strehlke started her journalism career as a sofa fashionista, covering New York Fashion Week from her apartment in Beverly Hills, Calif. Ms. Strehlke hopes to learn to report the vivid details that will take her readers to the runway.

Rebecca Burton has always enjoyed writing. She merged her longtime interest in science and health to morph into a science reporter. Ms. Burton is also an avid hula-hooper, trapeze and aerial silks performer.

Nicholas St. Fleur said his eyes were opened to the power of journalism when a high-magnitude earthquake struck his parent’s homeland of Haiti in 2010. Soon after, Mr. St. Fleur turned writing into a career.

As an intern, Bracey Harris told the story of a homeless man who was working toward a college degree. When the phone lines flooded with donations, Ms. Harris realized her storytelling could make a difference.

Jamal Collier got his break in sports reporting by covering the losing team. The recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate said his diligence and past experience interning with Major League Baseball is what landed him his spot at the Institute.

John Dargan said his camera lens has provided a platform for free expression and creativity. His goal is to make documentary films about sensitive subjects that make people challenge their own thoughts and perspectives.

Evan Ortiz has a knack for capturing the emotion of a moment. Mr. Ortiz hopes the Institute will teach him how to work under deadlines and enrich his storytelling abilities.

A stray bullet changed Ja’Pheth Toulson’s view of journalism when it killed a young boy. His coverage of the story gained national attention, but Mr. Toulson’s main goal is to write pieces that are “a stepping point for change.”

Barbara Corbellini Duarte has always had some sort of camera in her hands. At the age of 12, Ms. Duarte saved up $100 bought her own camera — a small purchase that turned into a valuable career investment.

By the time she graduated from the University of Arizona, Yoohyun Jung had become a self-­taught photographer. She took pictures of anything she saw and enrolled in online seminars. Ms. Jung is now focused on covering social issues.


The New York Times Student Journalism Institute in New Orleans for 2014 is now concluded. We will resume in May 2015 in Tucson, Arizona.

In Focus

The National Weather Service of New Orleans/Baton Rouge issued a flash flood watch Wednesday afternoon remaining into effect through Thursday evening.