This fall, City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth (CLARIFY) is working with nearly two dozen talented high school students from across the five boroughs, including bilingual participants reporting in both English and Spanish.


CLARIFY student journalists during the virtual fall 2022 semester, during a visit from media literacy and factchecking advocacy organization Factchequeado.

Since 2014, City Limits has operated a paid training program for students who learn and apply the skills of investigative journalism as they report on issues affecting their own neighborhoods.

This fall, City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth (CLARIFY) is working with nearly two dozen talented high school students from across the five boroughs, including bilingual participants reporting in both English and Spanish.

Our interns spend eight weeks learning the ins and outs of news writing and reporting, interviewing New York City stakeholders and elected officials and hearing from guest speakers working in the journalism industry. It’s our mission to help train the next generation of the New York City press corps, and to provide opportunities for youth to try their hand at journalism—an important goal in a city where approximately 73 percent of high schools don’t have a student newspaper.

Read on below to learn more about our current fall cohort. To keep up with their work, subscribe to our email newsletter, The CLARIFY Report, here.

Joselyne Daniel is an intern at City Limits for the CLARIFY program. She grew up in Queens, is the oldest of all her siblings. Joselyne has a significant interest in journalism, and through the program hopes to learn efficient ways to share people’s stories.

Elias Deleon is a 16-year-old native student interning for City Limits. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he grew up cooking traditional Latinx foods and took an interest in journalism at a young age. He currently attends The Brooklyn Latin High School.

Sky Diaz is a high school senior at Frederick Douglass Academy VII in Brooklyn. She developed an interest in journalism through English classes, where she realized that words and media impact people and how they can interpret things. She admires those who show the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as well as showing equal representation. Sky is also interested in graphic design and photography and in her free time, you can catch her listening to music, reading books or sleeping.

Salma Elhandaoui is a creative writer, photographer, and contemporary literature analyst. She is a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School, where she wrote articles on scientific topics and neurological disorders for the Murrow Network, her school’s award-winning newspaper. She established a podcast on criminal phenomena and sociological concepts in conjunction with the Murrow Network advisor, and she also wrote poems, plays, and short stories in the horror, thriller, and mystery genres for Girls Write Now, a nonprofit organization serving girls and gender-expansive youth. She manages her own climate change campaign, as well as Dynarrative, an online literary magazine and community where writers have the creative freedom to explore their passions in various mediums.

Janai Giles is a 16-year-old junior at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. Residing in the Bronx, Janai is a kind-hearted and passionate writer who is inspired by her family and friends, who pushed her to become the best version of herself. Becoming more aware of the world around her, Janai took on journalism to reflect on how the events in her community impact her as she continues to grow. When she’s not busy practicing her creative writing skills, working on an article for City Limits or her schools’ newspaper, you can find her listening to music or catching up on her favorite anime.

Sophia Gonzalez is 15 years old and currently a junior in high school. She is Dominican and Colombian but has lived in New York City her whole life. Sophia has always been captivated by the news since there is always something going on, and she plans to pursue journalism and publish stories of her own someday.

Marriyam Halirou is a junior at Kappa International High School in The Bronx. Marriyam takes pride in being an African Muslim and loves her culture. Marriyam finds herself at Barnes and Noble often and loves reading and writing in her free time. This is her first real experience with journalism, which drew her interest because she has a passion for public speaking and likes informing people. She is the youngest of two siblings. When not reading, Mariam is taking pictures of greenery and sunsets. She hopes to inform and educate people around the world and encourage others to do the same.

Aria Hossain is a senior at Hillcrest High School who is passionate about medicine, writing, and social justice, and pursues those interests by researching policies in the healthcare field, writing poetry about her immigrant story, or speaking at actions concerning the DOE school’s budget cut. Aria joined CLARIFY because of the intersection of those identities and interests and to explore that further through journalism. She looks forward to creating connections with fellow interns and City Limits staff while pursuing equity in our writing.

Fanta Kaba is a 16-year-old junior attending Beacon High School. She aims to shed light on the city’s most neglected people and give them a voice, doing it with a smile on her face and her beloved bag of Oreos. She loves playing basketball and re-reading her favorite books in her spare time. As a sibling of six, she loves children and volunteers to tutor middle schoolers.

Kaliyah King is a Brooklyn resident and a senior at Midwood High School, where she has taken part in the school’s newspaper, The Midwood Argus, for two years and hopes to pursue a career within the law field. Kaliyah likes journalism because she feels it goes hand in hand with law, and it’s fun to learn about and participate in. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, and playing tennis.

Isabella Krieg is a 17-year-old illustration major at High School of Art and Design. Everything she loves revolves around music: she plays guitar, collects records and CDs and finds her biggest inspiration in musicians. Even her favorite books are about music. After reading Sara Marcus’ “Girls to the Front,” about the history of Riot Grrrl, Isabella started her own Riot Grrrl club, and distributed a zine to the students in her school. The zine covered topics from feminism to music, and featured art from other members of the club as well. She is continuing the club in her senior year, and hopes to put out more zines and inspire more people to talk about what’s important to them.

Akithma Moraes is a 17-year-old senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Curtis High School in Staten Island. She is passionate about examining societal interactions and how they impact the policies that govern our cities, specifically through sociology and political science. Akithma runs the school newspaper, works for a journalism advocacy organization, and in her spare time, reads a wide range of novels, binges romcoms and spends time with her family.

Alexandra Paredes is an 18-year-old senior at College of Staten Island High School for International Studies. They are currently taking two AP classes this year, and want to major in either English, journalism or business management and to stay in-state for college. They like playing tennis with their friends, reading fantasy and romance, and writing and posting poetry.  They volunteer at their school library and are excited to be graduating high school. They socialize with many different types of people, and are kind of a shy and quiet person in environments they aren’t used to.

Emily Paulino is a 17-year-old girl born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She came to the United States at 15 with her family in search of a better future, and is currently in the last year of high school. Emily plans to go to college to study biochemistry and is passionate about science. She dreams of working in a laboratory discovering new diseases or medical advances. Emily enjoys learning about new things, and journalism seemed like an area that would be interesting to learn about.

Talise Peele is a 16-year-old student at Pathways College Prep School in Queens, where she worked on the student newspaper. She’s a big Nintendo fan and spends her free time playing her favorite Switch games, and enjoys writing stories. Photography is a passion and she hopes to become a professional photographer in the future.

Caroline Pychynski is a junior in Midwood High School and has been passionate about writing since the sixth grade, when her teacher taught a journalism class. She has always found it fascinating how the right words can have a profound effect. Caroline also enjoys playing the guitar since she was 7 and listening to music. Since she was little, her favorite artist  has been Taylor Swift. She is also very involved in journalism as she writes for the school newspaper, The Midwood Argus. At her school, she is also the secretary in Young Women’s leadership and she has a strong passion for women’s rights. She looks forward to working in City limits as it will strengthen her ties with her community. 

Ashlee Rodriguez is a senior attending Marble Hill High School for International Studies in the Bronx. Her passion for journalism sparked when she was sitting down observing young kids from the Bronx and realized they needed to have a voice. Kids shouldn’t have to grow up in a place where they don’t feel safe, or where their voice isn’t heard. With her leadership, determination, communication, organization and writing skills, Ashlee thinks that we can achieve our goal of having teenagers read and share ideas and experiences with today’s injustices. “Let’s change the world!”

Samantha Sanchez is 16 years old and was born in Ecuador. She is a junior in Queens Preparatory Academy where she takes part in the G.S.A and volunteers at the school library. She likes to write and read books of any genre, as well as watch documentaries about criminal cases which awakened her interest for investigative journalism, since these documentaries usually require in-depth research to inform the audience with accurate information. She is working on improving her research and analysis skills to one day follow a career that involves investigative journalism.

Eman Shabbir is a junior at Midwood High School who loves journalism, the field of medicine, reading, and baking. Since a young age, Eman has been interested in the world around her, often questioning it, a curiosity that has resulted in a care for the public. She has an interest in reading and writing, which allows her to unearth new discoveries and create her own voice in stories. On a rainy day, she reaches for a book or watches a rom-com or horror movie. Eman loves baking and her favorite recipe would have to be her delectable fudge brownies. She also enjoys photography and her phone’s camera roll contains memories of every wonderful and awful moment of her life for the past few years, from visiting Pakistan for the first time to her first day of high school.

Pragya Sharma is a Queens resident and a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She moved to the United States from India at a young age and her passion for journalism stemmed from being a humanities major in high school. She wants to pursue a career in the legal field and attends weekend classes at NYU’s High School Law Institute. She’s in the ASL Club, Green Team, a staff writer for the THHS Classic Critic, and involved in various peer tutoring programs. In their spare time, she likes to read, listen to music, and watch bad movies with their younger siblings.

Ava Stryker-Robbins is a junior at the Beacon School, where she serves as head of design for the school literary magazine called Beacon Ink. Ava is an active participant in her school’s model congress and debate clubs. She works as a reporter for the West Side Rag where she writes weekly food columns and covers other local stories. Her interest in journalism grows from her love of literature and writing, as well as her interest in putting those passions to use in furthering political and social justice issues, and sharing creative stories. In addition to journalism, Ava plays classical guitar and participates in the NYCLU Teen Activist Project.

Jovanna Wu is a junior attending Stuyvesant High School. Since she was young, she spent hours pouring over the words in her latest sci-fi novel. Last year she got involved with her school’s newspaper and fell in love with writing, eventually becoming editor for the science department. Hoping to pursue a career in the medical field, she wrote articles about the science community. Her ability to capture the attention of people in the non-STEM community with her reports on crazy inventions and theories never ceases to fail. In her free time, Jovanna enjoys watching action movies, shopping with her friends, and sewing her clothes.

Neo Yee is a junior at Hunter College High School in Manhattan. He first got into journalism in his sophomore year, after joining his school paper, and has since founded his own school magazine and joined his school medical magazine as an editor. Outside of school, he enjoys reading, studying history, and listening to music.

CLARIFY is generously supported by the Google News Initiative, The Pinkerton Foundation and The Harman Family Foundation.