Thirty select high school students from around the nation, all with a passion for digital platforms such as mobile apps, video games and social media, will participate in the first “DREAM Digital Media Academy” at Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communications.
Beginning July 12, the students will spend two weeks immersed in an innovative campus environment, learning and exploring ways to create, design, and develop digital content and technology for media and entertainment. The program is being presented by the Scripps Howard School’s Center for Innovation in Digital Media, which is funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Dream Digital Media Academy is being conducted in partnership with the Excellence, Drive and Confidence Program, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit that operates summer college programs for high-achieving high school students from underrepresented communities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to get some bright young people from diverse backgrounds around the country thinking about innovative ways to develop, expand and exploit the world of digital media,” said Brett Pulley, dean of the Scripps Howard School. “We are grateful that our partners and sponsors can see the benefit of having such a pioneering program right here at Hampton University.”
The program will provide close peer-to-peer networks and mentors to introduce the students to the support they will need to be successful in college and beyond. Students will be exposed to coding, visual communication, video production and design. They will spend time in the academy’s “Dream Lab,” a hands-on environment comprised of digital media tools. Among the highlights during the summer program will be luncheon speakers and evening fireside chats featuring guests who can share insight and knowledge into the media, entertainment and technology industries. This year’s speakers include Retha Hill, Executive Director of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Antonio Dixon, a producer and songwriter who has worked with top artists such as Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.
Scripps Howard School Professor Allie-Ryan Butler, the director of the Center for Innovation in Digital Media, is serving as the program and curriculum director for the summer academy. “The students will be challenged in every discipline and will work on teams to complete a final project,” Butler said. “The camp will culminate with the teams pitching their innovative concepts to a panel of judges. The next new thing in digital media could start right here.”
The acronym DREAM stands for “Diversity Re-imagined, Engaging All Media” which describes the core mission of the Scripps Howard School’s Center for Innovation in Digital Media, which is to build a more diverse community of innovative leaders in the world of digital media, entertainment and technology.