FLINT, Michigan — Flintside’s first class of journalism fellows bring to the program a lifetime of experience as Flint residents and a shared commitment to telling the story of their community.
Launched as part of Flintside’s ongoing On the Ground program in the Civic Park neighborhood, each of the fellows receives paid training and mentoring on journalism, reporting and storytelling as well as a laptop computer — ultimately working to help each of them produce a story about Flint and/or Civic Park they want told.
Led by Flintside Publisher and Editor Marjory Raymer, she said the Journalism Fellowship is part of the publication’s broader goals to increase coverage of Flint’s neighborhoods and provide an impactful platform for resident voices.
Related story: Flintside partners with Civic Park neighborhood to launch On the Ground
Raymer said that while Civic Park is home to Flintside’s first neighborhood On the Ground program and the journalism fellowship, she hopes the program will continue to expand to other Flint neighborhoods. Here is a look at the people participating in the Flintside Journalism Fellowship:
Cornelius Jones describes himself simply as “God’s son, a king, a man, a father to a son.” Jones is also a business owner, organizer and volunteer. He serves as a mentor to children, teaching them self-monitoring and sports as well as useful skilled trades such as carpentry, environmental engineering, and landscaping. He also is active in his church ministry. He describes his work as “building the leaders of tomorrow.”
Anna Mansfield is competitive by nature and has been since birth. (She beat her twin brother to the world by 60 seconds.) She grew up in Flint, one of six children, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, and teachers as role models. She attended Saint Mark’s, King Elementary, Doyle-Ryder, Summerfield, Dye Elementary, Christian Life, Kingdom Academy, Garfield-Edison, Northwestern High School before graduating in the top 15 of her class at Flint Southwestern Academy.
She went on to become a first-generation college graduate with business degrees from Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University. She is now working on her master’s in organizational behavior at Ferris. She is a mother of two and owns her own business, Aplus Universal Consulting, which helps small businesses identify weaknesses, improve efficiency, and increase profits.
Camelia Pano was born and raised in Flint. A graduate of Northwestern High School, Pano enjoys learning new things and expressing herself. She is a mother of two who enjoys traveling. She can usually be found working one of her two jobs and recently began studying meditation as a way to regain positive energy and clear her mind. “Life can be so awesome if you have the right people around to embrace each moment,” she said.
Derrick Poe is media director at Urban Renaissance Center. He is interested in expanding his creative talents and storytelling, especially to tell Flint’s story in the light of positivity. He has worked as a photographer and videographer for eight years. He has honed his skills through internet sources and through experience in the field. He hopes to improve his skills and empower others to be storytellers. Also a hip hop artist himself, Poe also is a life coach. He attended Flint Southwestern Academy.
On the Ground is supported through funding from the Ruth Mott Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and Images and Voices of Hope.