2017 Team YMP

Meet the team
Aja Purvis

Aja, 16, is a junior at Murrah High School. She is an avid reader and plans to publish a book one day. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

Twitter: @ajapurvisYMP

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Ariel Willingham

Ariel, 17, is a senior at Terry High School. Her strengths are optimism and consideration for others, and her future career path is in medicine.

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Asia Mangum

Asia, 17, is a senior at Murrah High School. During her tenth grade creative writing class, she began to see writing as a potential career. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

Twitter: @asiamangumYMP

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August Harp

August, 17, is a senior at Murrah High School. Since three years old, soccer has been his passion, and he’s traveled across the country playing the sport. He plans to make soccer his career. This is his second year as a YMP student journalist.

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Chauncey Nettles

Chauncey, 15, is a sophomore at Clinton High School. He recorded his first video at age seven and fell in love with technology. He plans to pursue photography as a future career.

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Chloe Bishop

Chloe, 15, is a sophomore at Murrah High School. Joining the speech and debate team helped build her confidence. She may be a little shy at first, but she’s ready to take on the world. Science and space have captured her interest and next up for her is to work at NASA.

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Darryn Price

Darryn, 17, is a senior at Ridgeland High School. Journalism is her priority, and she wants to work in broadcast. Her goal is to have her own talk show. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

Twitter: @darrynpriceYMP

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Jeffrey Caliedo

Jeffrey, 15, is a sophomore at Murrah High School. He uses his voice to broadcast important issues, and his desire is to create content that positively affects people, no matter the form.

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Jonathan Buckley

Jonathan, 15, is a sophomore at St. Andrews Episcopal School. He is continually mixing beats at home and wants to professionally produce music and collaborate with artists. He builds original scores for mini-documentaries at YMP.

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Joshua Wright

Josh, 16, is a Clinton High School. He was first introduced to audio/video at church and then focused his first year at YMP on video, which he loved. This is his second year as a YMP student journalist.

Twitter: @JoshEWright

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Kaitlyn Fowler

Kaitlyn, 16, is a junior at Murrah High School. She is a plucky student photographer, now in charge of The Hoofbeat, her school’s newspaper. Her goal is to communicate well, work hard, and make an imprint.

Twitter: @kait_lyn_fowler

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Kelsee Ford

Kelsee, 17, is a senior at Murrah High School. She will hold the position of JROTC battalion executive officer this fall and plans on a career in the U.S. Army. She is also a talented photographer. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

Twitter: @kelseefordymp

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Kenytta Brown

Kenytta, 17, is a senior at Lanier High School. He recently attended a digital media camp at Mercer University. This fall, he’ll captain the Lanier soccer team for a final season before pursuing a career in journalism. This is his second year as a YMP student journalist.

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Lailaa Bashir

Lailaa, 16, is a junior at Jackson Academy. She is an avid student athlete and was selected for the all-state girls tennis team. Her interests off the court are art, science, and technology.

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Leslyn Smith

Leslyn, 16, is a junior at Callaway High School. She surrounds herself with family and friends that feel like family. Her interest in photography is rooted in her care for people.

Twitter: @LeslynSmith

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Maggie Jefferis

Maggie, 16, is a junior at Murrah High School. Her passions are videography, debate, and learning about others. She plans to be a future educator, but first plans to work on another mini-documentary this summer. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

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Maisie Brown

Maisie, 16, is a sophomore at Jim Hill High School. She is an advocate for youth, presenting at TEDxJackson in October 2016, and is interested in classical piano, literature, and politics. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

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Makallen Kelley

Makallen, 17, is a senior at Murrah High School. Music and theatre have always been a major part of her life. A future dream is to open a performing arts school in Jackson. Her hope is to make a positive change in her community.

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Maleah Briggs

Maleah, 16, is a junior at Mississippi School for the Arts. She can count on her fingers and toes all of the future careers she’s interested in, such as engineering, politics, or entertainment.

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Marquavious Harris

Marquavious, 16, is a junior at Wingfield High School. His aspiration is to become a known hip hop artist.

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Meche LeFlore

Meche, 17, is a senior at Jim Hill High School. Known for her outgoing personality, her future goals center on talking to people, like the talk shows she grew up watching.

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Michael Collins

Michael, 16, is a sophomore at Murrah High School.

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Raha Maxwell

Raha, 16, is a junior at Murrah High School. He loves to fish, hunt and draw, a passion of his. He admires his mother the most because she pushes him to do better, like attending business school and one day purchasing his own personal island.

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Ruben Banks

Ruben, 16, is a junior at Jim Hill High School. He is a community activist and aspires to own his personal law firm. He believes that his purpose is to lead people in the right direction.

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Sean Collins

Sean, 16, is a junior at Murrah High School. He has dreams of living in another country, but until then, he’s learning Spanish and German. He was part of the award-winning HB1523 documentary last summer. This is his second year as a YMP student journalist.

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Shakira Porter

Shakira, 17, is a student at Wingfield High School. In early 2017, she participated in YMP as part of Wingfield’s FAME program. She was a student moderator during Jackson’s first youth mayoral forum held in spring 2017.

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Y'Sonni Presley

Sonni, 14, is a freshman at Murrah High School. She is a Texas native who recently moved from California to Jackson. She credits her artistic growth and passion for social justice to her exposure to different people and cultures.

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Z'eani Furdge

Z’eani, 17, is a senior at Brandon High School. She is a future business owner. Until then, she spends most of her time reading and drawing, and she plans to study engineering in college. This is her second year as a YMP student journalist.

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