We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization consisting of passionate educators, media professionals, voracious consumers of media, and defenders of youth voices, creating rare opportunities to embed local high school youth into the media and communications field. We feel that our students are the vanguard, leading the way forward into the changing and challenging media landscape. We are working tirelessly to prepare them for that landscape.
Sam Joffray, Co-Founder, CEO: For the past 20 years, Sam Joffray, in his capacity as an executive with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, has implemented a Junior Journalism program within the events New Orleans has hosted, including the most recent NBA All Star Games, WrestleMania, College Bowl Games and Final Fours. Providing aspiring high school journalists with the press box seats, sideline and courtside photo positions and access to professional media mentors, the program proved so successful that the NCAA adopted the program in 2003, as an annual requirement of all host cities for the Women’s Final Four. In 2017, Joffray launched the New Orleans Junior Journalism Program, a 501(c)(3) organization that now affords opportunities for local youth to earn media credentials to cover major and local events by participating in a yearlong program, as opposed to single events, geared to their specific interests. In our inaugural year, operating out of temporary after school newsroom, we trained and embedded students from around the city to cover only sporting events, but also created opportunities for them to cover theatre, news, and cultural events, under the tutelage of professional media and college journalism interns.
Allison McCarroll, Co-Founder, COO: Allison McCarroll has instrumental experience working with underserved youth aged 5-18 through her many years of volunteer service with Big Class (now 826 New Orleans) in New Orleans and The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in North Carolina. She has a passion for literacy and community improvement, showcased through her and her husband’s volunteer work building and installing Little Free Libraries in Central City, providing free access to books to youth and adults in that neighborhood. She brings over 15 years experience in project management, administrative leadership, and community service advocacy and commitment to JRNOLA. As a strong advocate for youth literacy, she has embedded herself in countless hours of volunteer work with multiple non-profit organizations, both in her hometown of New Orleans, and in North Carolina, where she attended high school and earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.