August 7, 2017

One of the best things about working on the Connectopod youth podcast is observing the mentorship offered by the folks our youth journalists interview. Case in point: Jessica Jewell, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communication at Tree People, who offered a generous amount of her time to answer Connectopod's questions about a day in the  life of Tree People staff. We had a chance to see their work space and get a feel for the important work done by the entire marketing & communications team. While there, we observed a member of Jessica's team upload content to Facebook. Jessica spoke with the Connectopod Team about the type of content she would post to social media vs. what she would post to a website. It was a warm welcome to our youth reporters who are very interested in social media!


We moved inside one of their many yurts to get the interview started. The Connectopod Team - consisting of a core group of middle schoolers - set up the recording equipment and had to trouble shoot on the spot by adjusting the gain and figuring out how to get the best sound quality for the location. Once the interview began, Jessica shared that she too had an early interest in journalism, and encouraged our team to pursue this path. Our reporters did their research before visiting Tree People, as they do before all of their interviews, finding primary sources and preparing thoughtful questions. Their interview took about 1 hour to complete. That would have been enough, but Jessica then kindly took our team on a tour of the Tree People facility, highlighting points of interest from a marketing & communications point of view! As we walked the beautiful trails, she continued to talk to our team about their interest in social media, and suggested a few tips in getting our message out. 


I was grateful to Jessica Jewell for taking our youth journalists under her wing for an afternoon. We took just under 2 hours of her time that day, but the impact made by Jessica's investment of time in our team will have a tremendous impact on our reporters for a long time to come. I am always impressed with the generosity of professional people who take time out of their schedule to mentor youth. 


The Connectopod Podcast is a great vehicle for mentorship - both for the mentor and for the child! Creating a podcast interview gave our students a peek inside a profession they might not otherwise have access to observe. 

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