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prime movers

a daring dream for tomorrow’s journalists

career motivation civic literacy community awareness confidence cultural sensitivity educational values news literacy research service learning social responsibility storytelling teamwork

learning focused


he Prime Movers Media experience provides urban high school students, veteran journalists, college interns and high school media teachers the opportunity to work with and learn from one another. This exciting intergenerational and intra-disciplinary coalition teaches media literacy and inspires urban high school students to pursue journalism studies at the collegiate level. Our innovative teaching and mentoring program enables professional journalists to train high school students while mentoring the college student interns. At the same time, interns are translating classroom theory into practice while providing a youth focus for high school students interested in becoming journalists. The program also helps expand media programs by engaging high school teachers and administrators, offering advantages that transcend the classroom.

“It is exciting to see how Prime Movers mentoring can empower and transport these young people. The skills they learn will serve them well in high school, college and beyond. Prime Movers Media changes lives.”

frank sesno

Director School of Media and Public Affairs The George Washington University

“The involvement of Prime Movers with Ballou Senior High School has had astounding results. Ninety percent of our 2010 graduating class will be studying some form of communications at some of the top-ranked schools in the United States. “Ballou Mass Media students gained insight into college life, study and time management skills while GW interns learned equipment and editing from the Ballou students.

Sam Ford, a 24-year veteran journalist at WJLA-TV (ABC7), is an ongoing mentor for a Prime Movers Media program and assisted in having student work appear on News Channel 8, the cable station owned by WJLA.

“This learning endeavor has enabled partnerships with ABC’s WJLA-TV and NPR, and continues to work toward the betterment of students in the field of communications.”

Dr. J.D. DiMattio

TV Production Teacher Ballou Senior High School

As part of Prime Movers’ partnership with WJLA-TV (ABC 7), Pege Gilganon, a 37-year veteran cameraperson at the station, explains camera techniques to students in a high school TV production class. Prime Movers Media utilizes its relationships with news professionals to educate aspiring journalists on the latest production techniques.

overview program


he mission of Prime Movers Media is to provide urban high school students with a unique intergenerational and intercultural opportunity to learn journalism and be exposed to a wider world of ideas.

The professional journalists and college mentors strive to ignite a passion for journalism and media. Students learn the power of storytelling through video, audio, writing and digital media skills. Students develop tools crucial to success in media and other areas, such as: critical thinking, professional speaking, communicating, reading and team-building. Headquartered at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Prime Movers Media stimulates in students an interest to attend college. For some, it motivates a desire to major in journalism and communications. This inspiration creates a new group of communicators who will bring a dynamic voice and vital diversity to the news media.

Prime Movers Media creates pathways for diversity in the next generation of journalists — our daring dream for tomorrow’s journalists.

Prime Movers Media students in a TV production class learn to use camera equipment with assistance from their teachers, professional journalists and college interns.

outcomes notable


rime Movers Media helps students find a new voice. The program has worked with 3,000 students to improve their ability to read, assess, write, and communicate.

Charles Pulliam-Moore Awarded one of nine coveted Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarships to The George Washington University. “Before Prime Movers Media, I didn’t have much experience. I knew innately that I could do it, but there just weren’t any outlets for me to sit down and have access to a production suite. Having raw talent is one thing but having the ability to flex my muscles and produce work — that is important. I didn’t have it in high school until Prime Movers Media.”

Philmona Teseema Translated media skills she developed with Prime Movers to California State University-Northridge and created a TV pilot that was showcased at CBS Studios.

Andrea Vittorio Spent three semesters working on high school media projects in DC schools as part of her GW experience. “Thanks to Prime Movers, I have grown as a student, as a journalist, and as a person. I truly engaged in the entire process of journalism, and learned valuable professional skills related to teaching, editing, networking, public speaking and filming.”

Chiron hunt After graduating from Washington, DC’s Ballou High School in 2007, Hunt received a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska. “The professional mentors who came into my classroom brought real life experiences that you can’t get in a normal class. “At first I just took the course as an elective. After a while, I got a feel for what I was doing. Now I’m majoring in broadcast journalism and hope to work for ESPN.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest meets with Prime Movers Media students in the White House pressroom. “It amazed me to see the small cubicles that reporters use to write such big news stories,” McKinley Technology High School student Aaron Garvin said. “I felt honored to be there among them. If I am determined and work hard, then I can reach that status in my own career.”

partner become a


ecoming a Prime Movers Media partner offers a range of opportunities — from volunteering to mentoring students to direct financial support. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided $1 million in startup funding to establish Prime Movers Media. We have built ties with the following likeminded partners and organizations:

new partnership White House Correspondents Association

DC Public Schools Gannett Foundation The Lilly Family NPR USA Today Widmeyer Communications WJLA-TV (ABC7) To learn more about partnership opportunities, or to support Prime Movers Media, contact: 202-994-0073

“We are delighted to be able to support a program that has already mentored thousands of budding journalists. This is precisely the sort of work that the White House Correspondents Association was founded to support.”

michael scherer

TIME Magazine WHCA Donations Committee

J.D. DiMattio, a 19-year teaching veteran of the Washington, DC, Public School System, helps Ballou High School students with editing in the school’s TV studio. Since 2004, Prime Movers Media has connected DiMattio with professional journalists and GW interns to help mentor his students.


igh school journalism is dead in nearly half of America’s high schools. Of the 17,000 public high schools in the nation, 8,000 — or 40 percent — have no school news products or woefully inadequate ones, especially in urban and rural areas. Even fewer have video, broadcast or radio programs. These students are deprived of the opportunity to learn about journalism and the unique practical learning opportunities it offers to improve many life skills.

dorothy gilliam

That crisis is why, in 2003, I developed Prime Movers Media as a Shapiro Fellow at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. By sending professional journalists and college media interns as mentors into high schools to help train high-risk urban students, we wanted to help shape students’ lives and give them the opportunity to learn journalism and follow their dreams of a media career. Since launching Prime Movers Media in 2004, thousands of diverse high school students and hundreds of professional journalists and college interns have participated in this unique intergenerational journalism mentoring program. Students have produced online and printed newspapers, video, podcasts and broadcasts on television and radio. Some have chosen to study journalism at college and hope for a media career. My vision is that the program expands to new school systems to ignite the next generation of journalists and to expand diversity in America’s newsrooms.

dream a daring

a message from the founder

phone 202-994-0073




prime movers GW’s Prime Movers Media thanks its 20102011 school year funders for their support:

White House Correspondents Association DC Public Schools Gannett Foundation The Lilly Family Widmeyer Communications

Azhar Alfadl, right, a recent graduate of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, interviews a student. Alfadl is one of more than 75 GW students who have served in Prime Movers Media schools in the Washington, DC, area.

Prime Movers Media School of Media and Public Affairs The George Washington University 805 21st Street NW, 4th Floor Washington, DC 20052

Prime Movers FINAL