Earlier this week, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation announced the selection of a new class of Channel Kindness Reporters.
The 50 young people, age 15 to 24, have been chosen through a competitive process to identify and document the acts of generosity, compassion, and acceptance that define their generation and shape their communities. This content – spanning videos, first-person essays, interviews with youth leaders, and more – serves as a counterbalance to a media landscape that often under-represents or misrepresents today’s young people.
Morgan Pendleton, 19, was selected to be a Channel Kindness Reporter, and is currently attending West Virginia University as a biology major with intentions of continuing on to medical school. Morgan is from Lewisburg. She is also on the WVU competitive cheerleading team, an advocate for childhood disease, and is involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Her goal in life is to one day become a pediatric trauma surgeon.
Young people are often excluded from media coverage entirely or represented in a negative light. One study found that nearly half of stories about young people are about crime, with African American and Hispanic youth even more likely to be included in such coverage. Unsurprisingly, a survey of young people themselves found that 81% feel they are unfairly represented in the media.
“Young people today have the vision, passion, and creativity required to drive the positive change we need, now more than ever. What they need are the resources and opportunities to lead that change,” said Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation President and Co-Founder. “Channel Kindness is a platform for this diverse and engaged generation to tell the stories that reflect and inspire their peers and communities.”
Channel Kindness was launched in 2017 and this is the second class of Reporters the program has welcomed. The participating youth were selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants and are receiving training and support, including a two-day convening hosted in New York City last weekend and monthly webinars with storytelling and media professionals.
Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages evidence-based research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline. Learn more at bornthisway.foundation.