Annenberg Media Institute for Youth & Educators

From February 19 - 21, 2020, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Center for Third Space Thinking will welcome students and teachers from the Merced Union High School District to a residential learning program of digital storytelling, video production, and soft skills development at USC Annenberg.


Students will be introduced to important communication skills including storytelling methods in today’s digital ecosystem and video production processes with which they can effectively communicate with the community and tell their personal stories. The program will also teach critical soft skills using the Annenberg Third Space Thinking framework of Adaptability, Cultural Competency, Empathy, Intellectual Curiosity, and 360-Degree Thinking or ACE-IT.   These soft skills are expected to help the students achieve success in their future college life and careers.

“The Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) is in the mecca of the agriculture industry and our students only get to see the impact of agriculture on our economy and agriculture as a viable career option. Conversely, USC is in the mecca of the entertainment industry and we want to expose our students to the vast career opportunities in the entertainment and communication industry,” said Constantino Aguilar, the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Merced Union High School District.


Located in Los Angeles, one of the most important media centers in the world, USC will give the students access to experts and resources in the field of media and communication, as well as the positive culture on the campus. The Art, Media, and Entertainment Career Technical Education pathway is MUHSD’s second most popular pathway to college. Over 2,000 students are enrolled in classes such as, Digital Media Arts, Advanced Media Broadcasting, Theatre, Film, and much more. The program will enhance the work the district is doing with the students to prepare them for a career, college or both.

“We are excited. MUHSD has great kids and we want the kids to see more. It is important to remember that not every young man or young woman has access to these recourses. Exposure can change their life and we want them to see the possibilities and dream bigger,” said Jaime Carias, the director of Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement (AYA)

Soft skills including communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking are valuable to the career students want to pursue. The teachers from MUHSD will take the methodology back to schools and share it with all students.