Rouse Junior Natalie Erzal has been selected as one of 13 students from across the country that will travel to spend five days training and producing stories in Austin with the Student Reporting Labs team for the first-ever SRL Winter Academy this December, in collaboration with Austin PBS. 

“I am really excited about working with all of the people coming in to teach me new things so I can better improve my work. I am also really excited to meet new people and do what I love the most, which is filming,” Erzal said. “I really hope to come back home with a new mind into filmmaking, and I can hopefully show off lots of my skills with future projects.”

Working in teams with SRL staff and educators, fellows will produce original video news reports on music and performance in the Austin area, learning from professional producers and journalists along the way. The training will culminate in a screening at Austin PBS.

Erzal said that her teacher, CTE AV and Graphic Design Teacher Trina Moore, is the main person she would thank for this opportunity.

“[Ms. Moore] really is the one who inspired me and pushed me to be the best I can be, and continues to do that,” Erzal said.

Moore said that she is proud of Erzal and excited to see what she learns from this experience.

“Natalie will really be able to hone her journalistic skills under [the Student Reporting Labs Team’s] leadership,” Moore said. “Nat has been in our AV program for three years, and she represents our program well.”

Along with hands-on training, fellows will get to know and learn from other students from a wide range of backgrounds and a shared interest in building their reporting and production skills.

“We are so excited to bring this new opportunity to young storytellers from across the nation and create a memorable and enlightening experience for this group of students,” said Victor Fernandez, SRL’s Director of Youth Media Programs.