The Academy


What is the Academy?

The Academy is a free unorthodox youth journalism program that is more of an experience than a curriculum. It is a combination of workshops led by professionals in the industry, real-life application, and one-on-one experiences with journalists and college students majoring in journalism from local universities. From the basics of journalism right down to the details of writing, editing, and publishing–we provide opportunities not afforded to every youth regardless of their socioeconomic background. Our Academy students spend more time learning on assignment than contained within four walls listening to a lecture. We make every attempt to bring a tailor-made experience to each student, with hopes that those enrolled will become comrades and family.


Academy members are students who live in the Detroit area and are ages 11-17 with a desire to explore writing, research, photography, reporting, interviewing, broadcasting and all things journalism. They do not need previous experience but must possess a willingness to learn, attend workshops and classes, serve on panels, and be available for reporting and writing assignments. This is a significant responsibility, and our Academy members have to commit a portion of their time to meeting deadlines, going out on assignments, and writing articles. Some will host their own video podcast or video broadcast. Not everyone has the goal to become a journalist. Therefore, we make every attempt to match our resources with our young people’s aspirations.


Who Belongs to the DCY~Opp Academy?

Metro-Detroit youth ages 11-17 who have skills in public speaking, photography, graphic design, coding, editing, writing, or a true desire to learn, as well as the time to commit to reporting and article assignments. Our students come to us highly recommended by teachers, counselors, and community leaders. Do you need experience in writing, journalism, editing, etc.? No, but you must enjoy writing, understand basic grammar, be disciplined, be a good student, and be available for assignments! AND you must be willing to learn…


And learn…

And learn.

With almost 66% of youth under the age of 19 in Wayne County reading below a third-grade level, the better question is “Why not?” Why not, plant ourselves wherever children and youth are to talk to them about the world of journalism? Why not explore these opportunities with children who would most likely never consider journalism or realize their talent! Why not let them see themselves in the young people we select and think for maybe the first time, “I can do that! ” “I’d like to try that!” Why not take children of color along with children of every race and culture, and allow them to experience a dream they never knew existed.

Why? Because it is well documented that poverty and academic achievement are inversely connected (MLPP, 2015). In fact, poverty is connected with much that negatively impacts our children and youth. DCY~Opp can’t immediately eliminate poverty, but we can empower youth with OPPortunities that could lead to financial independence in the long run, and better self-esteem in the interim.

Our students range from untapped and uncelebrated excellence all the way to highly awarded and high achieving academics, and we challenge, prod, and celebrate each of them.

A Peek at The Program …

  • Writing Featured Articles
  • History of Journalism
  • Journalism Law and Ethics
  • Interviewing
  • Newswriting
  • Feature Writing
  • Photojournalism
  • Sports Writing
  • Blogs and Social Media in Journalism
  • Opinion Writing
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Investigative Reporting
  • Advanced Feature Writing
  • Alternative Story Forms

Well, are you ready to apply to the Academy? Ok, great!

Click here to download —>Youth Application Packet.

To APPLY ONLINE, Click here

For more information, please download our DCY~Opp Information Sheet here or our brochure here.