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AAJA’s 2022 JCamp Summer Program Application Essay Guide

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summer journalJCamp is a six-day multicultural program for high school students. It was started by the Asian American Journalism Association in 2001 in hopes of both confronting the lack of diversity in journalism and cultivating the voices of future media leaders. Unlike many other summer programs for high school students, there is no fee to apply and all costs are covered.

Unsurprisingly, this program is highly competitive, so submitting a strong application is a must. 

Requirements: 2 essays of 250 words or fewer, 1 optional essay

Deadline: March 31, 2022

Student Essays (250 words or less) 

A) If you were to start an interview-based podcast or YouTube series, what would your theme be and why? Who are 3-5 people you would want to talk with? 

This is such a fun question! So, don’t overthink it. At its core, this prompt is about your curiosity. Being able to engage in meaningful conversation is probably more important than being able to give a good answer (especially when you are a student). So, what are you curious about? What topic could you talk about for hours on end? Once you have honed in on your area of curiosity, think about who you’d like to discuss this topic with—shoot for the moon; it’s hypothetical! Even if your initial idea feels vague, once you brainstorm who you’re talking to, you can sculpt it into a more specific question or topic. Don’t get lost in the weeds with this prompt; there is no wrong answer, only opportunities to reveal more about yourself to admissions.

B) What makes you uniquely qualified to be selected for JCamp?

This is a classic question that will pop up on summer program applications for years to come. It’s also great practice for your college applications, since many schools will ask you to write an essay in response to a similar question. Your answer is your elevator pitch. A strong written response will succinctly address your background and accomplishments. How have you already demonstrated an interest in a career in media? When have you taken the initiative to go the extra mile? If you can also briefly outline how JCamp will set you up to achieve your goals (be specific!), all the better.

Optional Essay: What are challenges you have faced the past couple years (not limited to scholastic challenges, but could be personal, professional, athletic or anything else), and how have or are you working to overcome those obstacles?

If you read this prompt and nothing immediately comes to mind, it’s probably a sign that this essay is not for you. If, on the other hand, a few ideas pop up, trust your instincts. Admissions understands that life throws curveballs and they want to know how you adapt and showcase resilience. Whatever challenges you choose to discuss, be sure to focus on the latter part of the prompt: how have you overcome or are working to overcome those obstacles? Your response should demonstrate your ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the ring. 

Getting started on your college applications too?
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Our Common App Essay Guide will lead the way.

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