All posts by Ali Main

Ali Main Final Pitch

For my final, I would like to do a story on Get Lit- Words Ignite, an organization based in Westlake that teaches spoken word poetry to teenagers in the area  in almost 100 schools to “increase literacy, empower youth, and inspire communities.”

I will interview the founder Diane Luby Lane, as well as teachers and students (those who are 18 years old).

In addition to a text piece on the organization bringing spoken word culture to students who otherwise would not be as engaged in the arts, I would also like to embed a video (or possibly an audio slideshow) profiling one or more students. I would also like to make a map web element of all of the schools that Get Lit reaches with its program.

Rachel Cohrs Digital Footprint

Rachel Cohrs is a print and digital journalism student with a minor in law and public policy at the University of Southern California. She is a news editor for Annenberg Media and a web manager for the USC Annenberg Center on Public Diplomacy with a variety of skills in digital media, including video editing, graphic design and web design and analytics. Cohrs also has a passion for photography and is an Adobe certified Associate in Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop.

She has a particular interest in covering California politics, criminal justice reform and other local  Los Angeles issues. She has previously worked as a political beat reporter for Annenberg Media, covering Los Angeles ballot initiatives, state politics and lawsuits.

She has done many long form projects on her topics of interest, including an article on exonerate compensation and a piece focusing on the health insurance coverage gap between the Latino community and other groups in Minnesota.

In May 2016, Cohrs joined a team to work on the Immigration@USC database of immigration experts at USC.

Cohrs has worked as a capitol bureau intern at The Sacramento Bee, a web and interactive designer for the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a pre-law intern for the Wage Justice Center, and an editorial and newsroom intern for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. She was also previously a contributor for the travel and lifestyle magazine The Midwest Agronaut.

Before attending USC, Cohrs attended Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school’s news magazine and online publication and was debate team captain. She was also part of National Honors Society and Spanish Honors Society.

Cohrs is a National Merit Scholarship winner and a USC Trustee Scholar. She has been on the Annenberg Dean’s List every semester of her college career so far.

Cohrs is president of the Alpha Delta Chi sorority at USC. She is a member of the Annenberg Scholars Program and a reading tutor for the Adventures Ahead elementary school program. In spring of 2015, Cohrs went to the Navajo Nation reservation as a volunteer worker for USC Alternative Spring Break. She was previously a teacher’s assistant at the USC School for Early Childhood Education and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic.

Cohrs enjoys hiking with USC’s Peaks and Professors program, reading, running, taking Zumba classes, and exploring Los Angeles.

Cohrs is interested in a career in front-end web development in a newsroom.

Westlake Photo Bingo and GIF


ACTION: Orlando Gravely catches some air while skating in Lafayette Park. Gravely is just one of the many skaters of all ages gathered in the park on a busy afternoon.


WTF: Shoes dangle from the telephone line running over Lafayette Park in Westlake.


LOOKING UP: Blue skies shine into the courtyard of the Granada Buildings in Westlake. The complex was built in 1927 and currently houses several non-profit organizations.


BLUE: A graffitied image of a camera marks a building’s blue wall near Lafayette Park. This is just one of many instances of graffiti seen around Westlake.


DELICIOUS: Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe serves up tamales and other authentic Latin American cuisine to residents and visitors of Westlake.


ANT POV: An abandoned lighter lays on the ground in MacArthur Park. Despite the litter, residents of the area still come to the park to play soccer and enjoy the playground facilities.


GIF: Festival goers gather in MacArthur Park to commemorate the independence of several Central American countries. The heavily Latino community celebrates with food, music and dancing.


HANDS: Westlake residents put their hands to their hearts to honor the national anthem of the United States at a festival in MacArthur Park celebrating Central American independence.