Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jennifer Simms

Young journalist fundraises for dream opportunity


March 16, 2018

Courtesy Photo Sunset Middle School eighth grader Aleah Keppler is raising money to attend journalism camp this summer at The School of The New York Times.

With summer just a few months away, families and students are busy registering for camps and booking vacation plans. One Sunset Middle School eighth grader, Aleah Keppler, already knows what she is doing this summer. She was selected to attend the NYC Summer Academy hosted by The School of The New York Times.

“My parents get The New York Times and there was an ad in the paper,” Aleah said when explaining how she learned about the program.

“When we first found out about it we realized it was a long shot and a competitive process and we encouraged her to apply for it,” Aleah’s father, former Niwot Elementary School Principal Mike Keppler said.

Aleah completed an online application and submitted a writing sample and teacher recommendation. Several weeks later she was thrilled to learn she’d been accepted.

When asked what she’s most looking forward to, Aleah said, “I hope to make friendships with other students who are like-minded and have the same passions for learning as I do. I hope to get a lot of knowledge from The New York Times journalists. I want to learn as much as I can about New York and the city.”

In June, Aleah plans to fly with her mother to New York City for the two-week program. She will live with other students at Fordham University Lincoln Campus and spend time learning from award-winning journalists and professionals about the United Nations, journalism, and law.

If the first hurdle was getting accepted, now she is in the midst of clearing the next hurdle — fundraising. She currently has $1,400 of the $5,000 she needs to attend. She has already sent out a fundraising letter to family and friends and set up a GoFundMe page. In addition, she’s coordinating with a teacher at Sunset to send out a second round of letters.

Mike is proud of his daughter’s accomplishments thus far and confident she will make it. “It’s going to be a great experience for her,” he said. “She’s really good about embracing new things. We know it will be an important part of her growth as a student and as an individual.”

Community members who would like to help send Aleah to camp can make an online donation at www.gofundme.com/9vbbga-the-school-of-the-new-york-times.


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