Twelve-year-old Zahra Latheef lives in Texas, where she has been homeschooled since kindergarten. She has been writing for IndyKids for just over two years now. Zahra is also a budding audio journalist and took part in the recent IndyKids Climate Series Podcast.

How did you first get involved with IndyKids, and what do you most enjoy about the workshops?

My mom signed me up for a writing workshop, and I was assigned to write about houselessness. I really enjoyed it, so I kept writing articles for IndyKids. I enjoyed getting advice from my mentor, writing the articles, and seeing them published. I was assigned fun and interesting topics to write about, like the underwater youth climate movement and the ban on coral-damaging sunscreen. I also had an amazing opportunity to participate in a climate podcast which discussed the problems facing climate change and how to prevent it.

What motivated you to become a kid journalist?

I was motivated knowing that the current issues I write about will educate young people like myself.

What advice do you have for kids who want to start writing?

Don’t be nervous! You can do anything you set your mind to. Your mentor will be there to help and guide you. Also, you should start reading articles about world issues so that you become acquainted with them.

Why do you think social justice news reporting is important? 

Social justice news reporting is important because it helps other people realize what’s happening in the world so they can take steps to prevent it. It also provides people a chance to see different viewpoints on important issues, so they broaden their understanding.

What topics do you most enjoy writing about and/or feel most passionate about?

I enjoy writing about climate change because it’s a huge problem. I enjoy traveling to different places and learning about different environments. Climate change has a huge impact on the weather, ecosystems and our way of life. Learning about it helps me to understand how important reducing waste and fossil fuel usage is.