Baylor JPR&NM Partners with the Hearne-Calvert Texas ACE Program and Waco Central Texas Links Inc.
The Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media (JPR&NM) is excited to partner with Hearne & Calvert ISDs and the Waco Central (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, for the Texas ACE Afterschool Program. The digital media program launched in September 2023.
The program offers career development curriculum for the 50-plus students enrolled. It meets virtually one day a week.
“Students have fun while learning,” said Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., professor and chair of Baylor JPR&NM. “In addition to digital media-related topics and digital media, we emphasize three important areas: critical thinking, team-building and socialization skills.”
Willie Keener, Hearne ISD Director of Fine Arts, said the program gives participants an opportunity to broaden their horizons and to learn more about film and digital media. Activities include field trips, and an introduction to backpack journalism, photography, coding, and career readiness.
“The activities offered in this program are important to help students gain awareness of the careers that are available,” Keener said.
Dr. Moody-Ramirez, who also serves as the Waco Central (TX) Links arts facet chair, developed the digital media program this summer with ACE Program Director Marlise Golden-Thomas.
Golden-Thomas, who works with the traditional ACE afterschool program throughout the week, said the special digital media segment encourages participants to enhance their daily use of social media for something greater.
“We want them to use TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram to create videos that are meaningful,” Golden-Thomas said. “They all have cellphones, and this program will help them use them to take better photos and to create videos.”
The Links organization has provided programming for Central Texas students for decades. Waco Central (TX) Links Vice President Debra Simmons Evans said that through new programs like the Texas ACE Afterschool program, the chapter hopes to offer students opportunities and inspiration to further their education.
“Our chapter has served Central Texas youth and families through its signature programs since 1974," Evans said. "Through this partnership with the Hearne & Calvert ACE program we are providing positive life changing experiences for these students.”
The program will later extend to Waco ISD and surrounding areas as resources and interest grows.