Students Complete Challenge Courses in Journalism and Entrepreneurship
January 17, 2023
Each year at TA, students are given the opportunity to tackle a project in an area of personal interest through the TA Challenge Course program. The topics for these courses are as unique as TA students themselves, and have ranged from equestrian training to aviation, climate change to gender studies. On January 10, 2023, two students took the opportunity to present their fall semester Challenge Courses to the members of the Counseling Department, detailing their topic of interest, explaining their research and learning, and showcasing their final projects.
A longtime lover of writing, Oliver Yukica ’25, spent his fall Challenge Course exploring a genre of writing that was new to him – journalism. Oliver obtained an internship at the Valley News, where he trained with reporters learning the techniques and skills of journalistic writing, which Oliver reflected was a different style than the narrative and research writing he has composed in the past. Oliver practiced his reporting technique by writing weekly articles for a fictional newspaper set in a fictional town.
Oliver set a goal at the outset of his project: to become a published journalist. When the opportunity came up for him to write an edition of the Valley News features entitled “A Life,” Oliver jumped at the chance. Oliver’s article featured the life story of Neil Henderson, a long-time resident of the Upper Valley who survived a troubled childhood spent at a series of institutions for the developmentally disabled.
Despite a difficult childhood, Neil’s resilience shone through his “good-natured, youthful disposition” that he maintained through his adulthood. He was a cherished member of his family and community, universally appreciated for his kindness. Oliver’s piece in the newspaper captured both the sadness of Neil’s early years, and the joy of his adulthood. “I set the goal to become a published journalist, and I did it,” he reported proudly, summarizing the arc of his project.
Cissy Dai ’23 focused her Challenge Course on Entrepreneurship. With an interest in business, Cissy wondered about the specific challenges that face entrepreneurs who are trying to break into new markets in developing economies. What special considerations must be taken into account in these economies? How are products marketed differently in a third world country as opposed to a first world country? What challenges in distributions might exist? Cissy’s exploration of these obstacles allowed her to expand her critical thinking about the role of entrepreneurs in developing economies and the strategies they might employ to introduce their products to new markets.