Since 2014, City Limits has run a paid internship program to train New York City high school students in public service journalism.
CLARIFY News (City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth) teaches the essential tenets of reporting and news writing, including research, interviewing, media ethics, photojournalism and more. Participants apply the skills of investigative journalism as they report on issues in their own New York City communities.
This fall, our CLARIFY News reporters are investigating Mayor Eric Adams’ progress on housing and homelessness, as January marks the halfway point in his first term. Want to help out directly with their reporting? The interns are surveying New Yorkers about their experiences navigating rental assistance, living in public housing at NYCHA or with faith-based housing programs.
Read on below to learn more about our current cohort. To keep up with their work, subscribe to the CLARIFY newsletter.
Michael Babayev is a senior at Townsend Harris High School, where he is the Co-Opinion Editor for The Classic, his school’s award-winning newspaper. In May of this year, he joined the Press Pass NYC Student Advisory Board where he co-chairs a program committee. As a CLARIFY intern, Michael wants to explore the depths of investigative journalism. When he’s not busy working on an article, you can find him leading debate workshops for middle school students, listening to music, or spending time with family.
Hadiatou Barry is a 17-year-old who discovers joy in the realms of filmmaking, writing, and music, displaying her appreciation for the arts. Her initial interest in journalism sprouted from her daily readings of the ID magazine culture column. This exposure sparked her interest in the power of journalism and its ability to delve into and document the world around us, reflecting societal values while digging into stories that have been overshadowed. Through journalism, her goal is to uncover the stories of those whose narratives often go unnoticed in society, particularly the stories of people of color which she aims to focus on.
Arijeta Demirovic, 15, is a sophomore at Curtis High School. In addition to City Limits, Arijeta writes for her school newspaper, The Curtis Log. She is on Curtis’ track team and is in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Arijeta is a life-long New Yorker, having lived in two different boroughs: Queens and Staten Island. She is a bookworm at heart and loves a good read on a rainy day. While these reads typically consist of fiction, Arijeta enjoys writing things of the present, which she wishes to carry on with City Limits.
Emelie Dominique is a senior at Clara Barton High School. Emelie is Haitian-American and was born and raised in New York City. She participates in the wellness council at her school and serves as a student advocate. She is interested in journalism to advocate for societal change and to inform others.
Safowana Islam is a junior at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. She is passionate about several things ranging from writing, to advocacy, to language. She is a teen writer for Youth Communications where she is in the process of writing her second short story. She is also a second year intern at Youth Food Advocates, an advocacy group dedicated to enhancing lunch and cafeteria performance. There, she spoke in meetings and provided testimony at City Hall to advocate for food justice. She is also a fellow at District 39 City Council Woman Shahana Hanif’s office where she helps set up and attend events, fundraisers, and participatory budget meetings. She is the vice-president of her school’s American Sign Language and consistently sets up and leads meetings to teach her peers about the characteristics and elements of the language.
Nani Kone is a junior at Manhattan Village Academy. Throughout her educational career she’s admired the intricacies of literature, particularly journalism. She was exposed to numerous societal injustices growing up, and wants to utilize her words and voice to spread awareness by revealing the truth. In her spare time, Nani indulges in music and film and is a huge admirer of artists such as Amy Winehouse and Wong Kar-Wai. Ultimately, Nani hopes to reach a broad audience and inform people about the issues within local communities and the city with CLARIFY.
Marcellino Melika, a Queens resident, is a junior attending Francis Lewis High School, where he began his journalistic work a year ago as a part of his school’s journalism academy. His passion for journalism stemmed from his experience revealing unknown but important news for others across several mediums. He wishes to pursue a career in the medical research field and is a part of his school’s science olympiad team. He also plays cello in his school’s orchestra, and loves to help others through his efforts to give back. He looks forward to working with City Limits and hopefully having a bigger impact in the future.
Ananya Mirchandani is a junior at The Brearley School in Manhattan. She loves writing, reading, and the news, so she has taken an interest in journalism. She edits her high school’s newspaper and enjoys reporting on local issues. She is looking forward to working with City Limits because she is inspired by the impact that high-quality investigative journalism can have on policy and communities’ welfare. She believes that stories that investigate the public sector should reach a wide audience to engage and inform citizens.
Ruby Moran is a City Limits journalist and a senior at the Bronx High School of Science. She started her journey as a journalist through her high school’s paper, The Science Survey, and has since published several editorials and become one of the copy chiefs on staff. She’s also the co-director of youth-led organization The Cleverly Creative’s content team, overseeing writers and editors through the process of making each issue of their literary magazine. She hopes to strengthen her overall writing and interview skills through her work with CLARIFY and take the lessons she learns into her pieces moving forward, whether that be in an article she writes for the Science Survey or passed down as advice to writers on her content team.
Kaila Moreno, a 16-year-old junior at Susan E Wagner High School, enjoys listening to music, spending time with her family, and reading. She has loved to read since childhood, delving into anything she could get her hands on, whether it was Dr. Seuss or the cartoons on the back of the newspaper. Her love for reading has followed into her teen years, where she now reads anything from the poetry and commentaries of Audre Lorde to the distinctive prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Books have acted as more than just a form of entertainment for Kaila; they have shaped her into the person she is today and inspired her interest in journalism. She hopes to give a voice to those who have none and inspire others to speak out and create change.
Ruhshona Rahmatjonova is a 16-year-old junior who is a new student at James Madison High School in Brooklyn. Ruhshona looks forward to majoring in political science and pursuing her career as a political speechwriter. She has recently gotten involved in her school newspaper, Madison Highway, where she wants to improve her skills as a new staff writer. Outside of journalism, Ruhshona excels in writing long essays. When her father needs a hand, she enjoys helping him write informative emails for his company and reads her favorite novels by S.E. Hinton known for their most famous book, The Outsiders. Ruhshona plays soccer for the Lady Knights and enjoys listening to Taylor Swift when she is running a mile in her free time. She loves to watch presidential debates and talk about them with her family.
Afifa Razaq is a junior at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. Afifa is an open-minded and passionate writer who is inspired to learn new things to become a better version of herself. Afifa took on journalism to change the impact of the events in the world on her community. She plans on making a difference by informing and educating people.
CLARIFY is generously supported by Pinkerton Foundation, Google News Initiative, Harman Family Foundation, DJ McManus Foundation and the Dow Jones News Fund.