Fall 2019 interns 1
City Limits’ youth interns hitting the streets of Harlem to interview residents.

Since 2014, City Limits has operated a paid internship training program for high-school and college-aged students in New York City who learn to apply the skills of investigative journalism as they report on issues affecting their own neighborhoods. City Limits’ Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth, also known as CLARIFY, is generously supported by The Pinkerton Foundation.

Introducing CLARIFY’s Fall 2019 Reporting interns, whose work you’ll see published on the site in the coming weeks:

Investigative Reporting Interns

Blossom Okonkwo is a first-year college student in Brooklyn. She got her start in journalism early high school through photojournalism, and spent her senior year on her school newspaper as a contributor and photographer.

Gyana Guity is a senior at University Heights High School. She loves reading, writing, and Korean Pop music. Her current passions are journalism, playwriting and book writing. She is a mentee in Girls Write Now, New York City’s first and only writing organization for young women. Through this program, mentees are exposed to different career paths related to writing and get the opportunity to be published in an anthology. In her free time, Gyana works on her fantasy novel titled “Commander of the Night,” which follows a brave young girl named Reina whose nightmares become reality. Her favorite author is Sarah J. Maas, who also writes YA fantasy.

Introductory Reporting Interns

Kimberly Dominguez, 17, is a senior at the Academy of American Studies. She has received several honors for her writing including a Scholastic 2019 National Gold Medal for her article “Portrait of a Coyote” and is currently a mentee at Girls Write Now. Her interests include literature, music, and art history. She resides in Woodside.

Didi Jin is a senior at Avenues: The World School in Chelsea. He discovered a passion for journalism after joining his school’s student-run news magazine, ​The Highliner,​ where he currently serves as co editor-in-chief. Didi enjoys writing about politics, music, and humor, and he plans to pursue a career as a political journalist. In his free time, he likes to watch basketball and football, play the trumpet, and eat ice cream. Twitter: @djin35

Miguel Flores Jimenez is a senior in Bronx Collaborative High School. He is a Bronx native who loves to listen to rap, R&B, and cumbia. He loves art and was part of City Art Lab at City College, which gives teens the opportunity to display their art in a public gallery. He is also fascinated by the internet and how it can connect billions of people. He hopes to one day create an e-commerce business that provides sustainable everyday products.

Jessica Dominguez is currently a senior at Park East High School, located in East Harlem. She has a passion to inform the public and wishes to pursue a career in activism. She also works at her school’s library, is part of a Mexican folkloric dance group, and is a Fellow with The Opportunity Network.

Yamila Frej is a senior at Townsend Harris High School, where she is an editor for the school’s newspaper and magazine. In her free time, she likes to hike, kayak, and salsa dance. Living close to the ocean, she cares a lot about coastal issues and has freelanced articles on the subject for Climate Tracker, iGeneration Youth, and other outlets.

Julia Stern is a sophomore at the Brearley School in Manhattan, where she writes for the school newspaper, the Zephyr. Last summer, Julia participated in an environmental journalism course, and was lucky enough to have her article about the youth climate strikes published and syndicated. Julia loves studying history, literature, and environmental science and advocacy. She hopes one day to pursue a career in journalism.

Diara Mbaye is 16 years old and from the South Bronx, and attends an all-girls school called The Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. Her love of journalism was sparked by the lack of attention given to poor minority communities, which often lack a platform to gain the attention needed to better their community and address inequalities. Diara wants to create that, and feels communities like hers are often only spoken of in a negative light, reinforcing stereotypes, something that further pushed her to pursue a career in journalism.

Mariama Bah is a senior at Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. She grew up in Guinea, West Africa and moved to the U.S three years ago, first living in Brooklyn and now in The Bronx. She is a fellow at a college-readiness program called The Opportunity Network, through which she was able to participate in a travel abroad program in Spain. She is part of an environmental awareness program at her school called The Green Team, which recently attended a convention to present their hydroponics project. Mariama is a climate change advocate, and with her club plans school-wide attendance to the climate marches.

Nefertina Carr is a senior at the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management. She was born in Honduras, and came to the U.S. at the age of three. She resides in Brooklyn with her five siblings and parents. Writing and creating has always been her passions. She is a peer leader for her school’s Girls Inc. program, which helps motivate young women into becoming more confident and walking in their truth. She is also interning at the Law offices of Jim Haddad, learning skills and language to help her on the journey to becoming a corporate lawyer, and later a Supreme Court justice.

Nayali Castro, 16, is a Bronx native and a junior at The Young Women’s Leadership School of The Bronx, where she writes for her school’s magazine, The Paw Print. From a young age, she has been a travel enthusiast who loves to immerse herself in different cultures. In the summer of 2019, Nayali had the opportunity to do this firsthand by studying abroad in Rome, Italy. She plans to study international relations in college.

Abanti Ahmed, 16, is a junior at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria. She lives in Astoria, Queens and is inspired by her community’s diversity to write about issues important to her. She’s worked on the school newspaper, the TYWLS Phoenix, which attracted her to the field of journalism. She hopes to study law, journalism, political science and economics in the future.

Bakhtawar Kiani, 17, is an animal rights activist, multimedia artist and sits on the Youth Council at the Museum of Arts and Designs. She is a senior currently enrolled in Pelham Preparatory Academy in the Bronx. She discovered this internship when looking for ways to advocate for animal liberation from factory farming. As an immigrant from Pakistan who arrived in the Bronx at age three, Bakhtawar has been immersed in American culture while staying true to her roots. She also advocates for mental health awareness, and one of her paintings depicting the duality of living with depression can be found at the Bronx Borough Arts Festival. She plans on dedicating her life to aiding human and non-human animals alike.

Ainsley Boakye is a senior at Beacon High School. Despite the stress of  school, she  takes on many other interests, including drawing, experimenting with new foods across the city, running her own self-made brownie business and keeping up with her social life. Ainsley is a student who always tries to be great in whatever setting she is in despite the obstacles she faces as a minority student within an inequitable school system, and she still holds an optimistic outlook on her future success and has never wavered when it comes to pursuing her goals.