Updated: May 25
Every weekend a group of chatty teenagers make their way up to the top floor of Universal Outreach's head office in Liberia. They drape themselves over their chairs, gazing nonchalantly at the neighbourhood's tin-roofed houses, listening to one of their peers share a story from the past week. One would mistake this meeting for a casual affair, but don't be fooled by their highly refined languid posturing; these aspiring journalists are listening intently.
When the story is done, friendly yet incisive critiques are lobbed around the table, mediated by their journalism coach from the local authority on press clubs, Youth Media Action. After witnessing a feedback session, my ego decided it was best I let one of the press club members write this story themselves, so without further ado, I hand this over to one of the future journalists born from this impactful program.
Universal Outreach Youth Press Club - A Blessing to All
Story by Mercy Willie, 14 years old
13-year-old, Moses Boyce describes Universal Outreach Youth Press Club as a blessing. Moses who joined the press club in 2021 said the after-school program has helped him to become a better reader and writer.
According to Boyce, reading and writing were very difficult for him despite being a 7th grader.
“Before joining the press club, I had a lot of difficulties such as sentence structure and spelling which made me hate going to school,” he said.
The 13-year-old added that writing was also a problem and most of his sentences did not make sense. “I used punctuation marks at the wrong places in my essays; this challenge created difficulties for me to express myself through writing,” Moses asserted.
Moses Boyce was a part of the first cohort of students who joined Universal Outreach’s Youth Press Club in 2021 and continues to be a part of the program that helps youth improve their literacy while developing their journalism skills.
“My appearance at the state radio station (ELBC) on April 19, 2023, was one of the most exciting moments I have had in my entire life,” the 13-year-old beamed with smiles as he explained. Moses also mentioned that the frequent radio appearances have boosted his self-confidence while he enjoyed praises from his teachers for the improvement in his writing and speaking skills.
“I am very happy and want to thank the Universal Outreach Youth Press Club and their partners Youth Media Action for creating such a wonderful program that helps students to realize their passion and the importance of education,” he concluded.