We all remember what it was like on our first day of college. We had no idea what to expect, how to act, or what we would learn. Wouldn’t it have been great if we could have had some type of preview or sneak peek into the college world? Last week, Loyola’s School of Communication did just that, holding its High School Digital Storytelling Workshop and welcoming 30 high school students from around the Midwest, giving them a snippet of the Loyola experience.

“The students get to experience the typical day in the life of a School of Communication student”, says the school’s event coordinator, Meghan Ashbrock. “They have access to all of the resources that Loyola has to offer.”

Those resources included the school’s high-tech equipment, as well as its talented faculty.

For the first three days, students participated in morning classroom instruction taught by professors Aaron Greer, Ralph Braseth, and John Slania. The classes rotated between video, led by Greer, audio, led by Braseth, and reporting, led by Slania. The students then used the afternoon to apply what they learned in the classroom out in the real world. The school’s central location in the heart of downtown allowed students to travel to different parts of Chicago and capture interesting stories. At the end of the week, they compiled all of their work together to create a final showcase on the last day of the workshop.

The students seemed to make strong connections with each other, as well as the professors. Ellis Taylor, a senior from Urban Prep High School in Chicago, stated that his dream job would be to become a video game creator, so naturally he was most excited to focus on the video and audio portions of the workshop. Taylor praised Braseth for making his experience so memorable. “Ralph is extremely funny. He creates an individual connection with each of us that makes you feel comfortable and ready to learn.”

Senior Katie Weber aspires to be a journalist at a well-known corporation doing “hard-hitting” reporting. She admired Slania’s extensive knowledge and passion about reporting. “You could tell he knew what he was talking about and that he loved doing it,” she says.

After getting so much out of the workshop, many of the high school students can see Loyola being a part of their future. “Being in this program has given me a much better idea about the journalism field and the journalism program at Loyola,” says Weber. “After this week, Loyola is definitely one of the top colleges on my list.”