Manfulls Go the Extra Mile In Order to Help All Campers Attend MediaNow


Sha’Diyah Tomlin, upcoming senior at Kirkwood High School, walks through the dining hall. She enjoys writing poetry and news stories, so this camp gave her a good outlet. Annie Schorgl/Photo

Annie Schorgl and Mansi Mamidi, Reporters

Sitting beside her fellow classmates, clicking away a story for her Advanced Writing class, upcoming senior Sha’Diya Tomlin of Kirkwood High School in St. Louis is determined to get the best out of MediaNow as she can. Tomlin’s clear passion and love of writing helped her get into the camp here at Mizzou. When she realized she wished to be on the paper, she gave her friend, who was already on the paper, a poem Tomlin wrote. Tomlin’s friend showed the poem to the editor, and was immediately accepted onto her school newspaper. Tomlin wanted to go to JEA (Journalism Education Association) in Dallas Texas this year, but in order to go, she had to take a journalism camp.


Tomlin’s advisor knew that she had always dreamed of going to Mizzou, so, her teacher payed for all of the costs for the camp for her. However, Tomlin said that the offer her editor made to pay her way was key to her attendance here.


“I would not have been able to do this even if I wanted to,” Tomlin said.

Aaron Manfull, co-director of MediaNow. He tries to help students pay for camp by reaching out to businesses and staff, as well as paying out of pocket with his wife. Mansi Mamidi/Photo

“ I’m the oldest of five, and my mom’s a single mother, so she’s doing it all by herself, and the bills and stuff, and right now my mom’s unemployed, so we’re trying to, you know, trying to get through. So, when stuff like this comes up, I don’t even say anything.”


Camp co-director, Kate Manfull, said that applying for aid and scholarships isn’t all that uncommon. Manfull and her husband, Aaron, often help pay for a few campers, while others of the staff tries to pay out of pocket as well. Other than the staff itself, businesses will also give scholarships to students.


“Clubs Choice Fundraising, they are the ones that give out the earphones, they also donated a couple hundred dollars to help kids get here on scholarship, and things like that,” Mr. Manfull said. “School Newspapers Online is also a big sponsor for us each year, and so some of what they sponsor with us for, that money goes back to campers, and allows us to free up some of our own money to sponsor campers ourselves as well.”


The Manfulls do everything they can to make the camp possible for every up-and-coming journalist to attend MediaNow.


“We don’t have kids do a whole financial aid packet, or looking at their tax returns–we don’t get into all of that. The point is really more ‘how bad does this kid want to get to camp?’” said Mrs. Manfull. “Honestly, I’ll just talk to people too, and call them to say what I can do, and I create payment plans even. I don’t care; a girl once had to pay part of the payment at the beginning of camp, and the other part in 2 weeks, when her dad got paid again. That’s fine with me, you know. If you really want to be here, we will do everything we can to make you get here.”