Since the fall of 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 year, with support from The Google News Initiative and The Pinkerton Foundation, the City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth (CLARIFY) is launching its first email newsletter, where the work of our youth interns will be delivered straight to your inbox.
In the weeks to come, The CLARIFY Report will bring you neighborhood-level data, photographs and multimedia that capture local life, and a series of investigative articles on the subject of public safety. We understand that COVID-19 is not the only threat to the well-being of our neighbors. How should our city respond to gun violence, sexual assault and hate crimes? What questions should be asked about the role of the police in low-income neighborhoods? And how can we protect our most vulnerable residents from the greatest threat to public safety for our generation—climate change? The CLARIFY team will be diving into the details of these and other crucial topics.
Click here to sign up for The CLARIFY Report newsletter. And read on below to learn more about our current summer cohort, made up of 20 high school students from across five boroughs who are already learning the ins-and-outs of investigative reporting, data research, interview skills, media ethics, and more.
Here is our team for the summer of 2021:
Rayhana Bouhara is a rising 11th grader attending Bard High School Early College. Her passion for journalism began when she started to observe the injustices in the East Village of Manhattan, the neighborhood she calls home. Journalists have the power to bring unnoticed issues to light, and Bouhara strives to be an active voice in her community. Her passion for activism is what motivated her to join City Limits. When Bouhara isn’t writing or researching, she’s painting, watching cat videos, or eating a large quantity of food.
Anthony Cospito is a 17-year-old rising college freshman who recently graduated from The College of Staten Island High School for International Studies and will be attending Hunter College in the fall. Cospito is a Staten Island native and has lived there all his life. His interests center around the field of accounting, and while undeclared, he intends to pursue a major in either accounting or economics, along with a minor in legal studies, at Hunter College. Cospito spent three years of high school taking an honors journalism course that sparked his interest in the subject. In his spare time, Cospito enjoys spending time with family and friends, following his passion for food, and traveling.
Vienna Du attends the Scholars Academy at Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island. She developed an interest in journalism because of her inquisitive nature and because she was raised in a multicultural environment, which allows her to view the world from diverse perspectives. She feels journalism is a great way to bring together her community and connect with others while bringing to light various voices and stories. She is passionate about topics relating to social justice, racial equality, and climate change. Du enjoys teaching tennis to children in her community, creating artworks (IG@artistvienna), crocheting, and capturing the intricacies of nature by exploring the outdoors.
Sena Etefa is a 16-year-old rising senior attending Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School located in the South Bronx. She loves playing the guitar, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and reading theological books or simple nonfiction reads. Growing up in the Bronx, Etefa has taken an interest in the social corruption faced by our society today, as manifested by our country’s racial and medical disparities. As a representative in her school’s student government as well as a former participant in a medical mentorship at Sophie Davis, Etefa has developed an intense love for addressing these disparities. Through intense research, Etefa hopes to inspire and empower her community to fight against unjust systemic issues.
Casey Glickman is a rising junior at Millennium Brooklyn High School. As a resident of Brooklyn, Glickman has a keen interest in bettering her community and the world around her. She believes she can bring about positive change through journalistic work and by bringing light to the experiences of those around her. Beyond journalism, Glickman has a great love for sports, as well as for photography, creative writing and traveling. She hopes to one day find herself pursuing a journalistic career that involves her various hobbies, where she can travel, speak with those around her, and bring their stories to the page.
Alysa Grillo is a student journalist from Brooklyn who currently attends Curtis High School in Staten Island. She is a rising junior in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. She loves to write, read, and explore the city with friends. She also runs with her school’s track and field team and loves staying active. Grillo has an unfailing passion for defending the underdog, and is strongly considering a career in law and has an increasing interest in psychology. While she has long loved writing, her interest in journalism is somewhat new. Last fall, at the encouragement of a teacher, she joined her school’s paper, the Curtis Log, and has been interested ever since.
Anjali Iyer, 16, is a second generation Indian-American and a former student at Anthem Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Arizona who will soon be transferring to a new school, making her a newcomer to New York City, specifically Manhattan. When she’s not exploring politics, history, or true crime, you can find her working with various organizations that build on her interest in social justice. She’s also an avid swimmer, writer and reader. Iyer enjoys how journalism is able to give voices to the people that are often ignored as well as its emphasis on embracing different cultures. She wants to pursue her passions for both English and science by one day studying forensics and law.
Eleana Kostakis is a 17-year-old from Queens who attends World Journalism Preparatory school. Kostakis is very active in her community and is part of several clubs at school that give back to her local area. She is president of the Key Club, part of the student social justice club, part of the Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) club and on the city advisory board for BC2M’s organization. She is also passionate about journalism and wants to pursue a career in pop culture journalism. One thing she enjoys doing in her free time is journaling. She finds it therapeutic and it actually helped her discover an interest in writing.
Ashleen Leger is a 15-year-old Haitian American girl who lives in Brooklyn. She attends an all-girls high school called Brooklyn Emerging Leaders. She spends her time writing, doing sports such as running track and playing basketball, and drawing fashion designs. She wants to become an anesthesiologist and a fashion designer and hopes to become really successful in life. Her interest in journalism is what made her join the CLARIFY program. She has always loved to journal and it has played a big role in her development as a person.
Rosemary Morel is an outgoing 16-year-old who was born and raised in Brooklyn but attends Uncommon Leadership Charter High School in Cypress Hills, Queens. Morel hopes to become a lawyer to be able to help people who have been wronged in the criminal justice system. In the past, she has completed internships relating to law that have helped her explore her chosen career. With the help of the CLARIFY journalism program, she seeks to improve her writing skills. In her free time, she loves reading books and watching criminal documentaries about serial killers, hence her career aspirations.
Nicole Oraegbu is an aspiring author motivated to both advocate and entertain. Born in Nigeria, she moved to the Bronx when she was young, residing there to this day, and currently attends South Bronx Preparatory. For as long as she can recall, Oraegbu’s interests have lain in creativity and research, so it’s no wonder she can see becoming a novelist and journalist in her future. Albeit a little odd, some of Oraegbu’s favorite pastimes include watching anime and collecting stuffed animals, along with more common things, like reading and drawing.
Mariana Ortega is a Bronx resident and rising junior at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in Manhattan. In school, she is a part of various communities and clubs including La Fuerza, a Latinx Alliance/Ally group, Peer Mediation, and the National Honor Society. In true Bronx spirit, she partakes in various forms of grassroots activism and also loves reading, writing, running, and bike riding. With Ortega’s interests in literature, anthropology, politics, history, and art, she hopes to study anthropology and political science in the future. Growing up in the Bronx has taught Ortega the importance of ethical storytelling and thoughtful media portrayal of minorities. She’s motivated to showcase her community, culture, and background in a new light.
Fanny Osorio, a 17-year-old Staten Islander, recently graduated from New Dorp High School and is to attend Wellesley College this fall. As a first-generation student, Osorio is ecstatic to be going off to Massachusetts and hopes to explore a new city and environment. Although she isn’t completely sure what she will study, she hopes to help people in some way, whether it’s through journalism, architecture, or social work. She enjoys drawing, reading, going out with friends, and like every other teenager, watching TV shows on Netflix. This summer, she hopes to enjoy her vacation to the fullest while utilizing the CLARIFY program to the fullest by taking advantage of the educational tips that it provides.
Tanveer Singh Chabba is a 16-year-old rising senior who attends the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. A Manhattan resident, Chabba spends his free time in his neighborhood’s public parks playing soccer, going on ice cream excursions, and hanging out with his younger brother. He is involved in many school clubs, including Model UN team as well as the South Asian affinity group. When he isn’t spending time debating or playing soccer, he has a passion for looking into politicians’ policies to tackle hate crimes and if/how they tackle the root of the problem they set out to solve.
Arden Sklar lives in Washington Heights, Manhattan and is a rising junior at the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Education. At school, Sklar participates in clubs like student government, book club, and a club she co-founded called the “Big Sib-Little Sib.” While Sklar has always loved storytelling and writing, she discovered a passion for journalism and current events as a writer and social media manager for her school’s newspaper. Sklar values journalism because she believes that informing people about untold stories helps to make the world a better, more conscientious place. Outside of school, Sklar participates in a photography program at NYC SALT, and in her free time, she enjoys making art and playing basketball.
Matthew Vasquez is a rising junior who attends Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island. He can regularly be found bike riding and participating in his school’s theater program. His fascination with American politics as well as social and criminal justice led to his interest in a career in journalism, and he applied for his first internship with City Limits to gain some experience in this field. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, listening to music and hanging out with friends.
Anuva Wardah is a 16-year-old rising senior from the neighborhood of Elmhurst in Queens. She currently attends The Brooklyn Latin School and plans to pursue a career in journalism or political science. When asked why she’s interested in journalism, Wardah mentioned that growing up she was never a STEM kid and that she hated math and engineering, but instead was drawn to the arts and humanities and that writing in particular just came naturally to her. Wardah has a passion for exploring new music—and when it comes to music, she does not discriminate, loving everything from genres such as shoegaze to heavy metal.
Nicole Wong is a rising senior at Hunter College High School, where she serves as the incoming editor-in-chief of What’s What, the school’s newspaper. Journalism has helped her discover who her community is, what they care about, and who they love. This led Wong to her passion for social justice—especially regarding youth empowerment, intersectionality, and New York City politics. Besides journalism, Wong is interested in English, politics, and law. In her free time, Wong tries to visit as many of New York City’s museums as possible (the Brooklyn Museum is next on her list). She resides in Bayside, Queens.
Julia Wysokinska is a Queens resident and rising junior at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College. Wysokinska is a representative in her school’s student government, and she most looks forward to advocating for her classmates and facilitating the upcoming shift from remote learning to in-person schooling. She is a member of her school’s debate team and enjoys the preparatory research and spirited environment that surround the activity. In addition, Wysokinska is a Girl Scout troop member and enjoys engaging in community service. In her free time, Wysokinska can often be found researching current events and expanding her worldview. She is an avid reader and enjoys creative writing. This internship is her first endeavor as a young journalist.