CNN Worldwide and 21st Century Leaders are hosting a group of high school juniors and seniors from across the state at the seventh annual Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience this week. The event engages the top Georgia high school students in a weeklong series of training sessions and discussions focused on media skills.

“Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience is an amazing opportunity for these students to learn about the media industry,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “My CNN colleagues and I are excited to offer these remarkable young people a platform to further develop their personal leadership skills, as well as learn more about some of the challenges facing media professionals every day.”

Each workshop will be a hands on experience led by CNN executives and journalists, including the CNN Student News staff. The presentations and workshops will focus on a wide range of topics including diversity, ethics in media and show production. The curriculum for Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience was developed by CNN Student News journalists.

“The media literacy skills students learn, combined with their exposure to CNN executives and media professionals, give them a unique opportunity to experience journalism and the business of media at the headquarters of the world’s news leader,” said Donna Krache, executive producer of CNN Student News. “Leadership Unplugged provides students with the skills they need in order to be savvy news consumers.”

In addition to the classes and workshops, the students will work in teams to develop story ideas based on the days topics. The week concludes with the student teams presenting their ideas before a panel of judges comprised of CNN and TBS executives.

CNN Student News, CNN’s cost-and-commercial-free educational program for middle and high schools uses the vast resources of CNN Worldwide to create news and information content specifically for the classroom. CNN Student News airs on HLN Monday – Friday throughout the school year at 4 a.m. (ET). The show is available for on-demand viewing on the Web at and as a video podcast on and iTunes.

21st Century Leaders, Inc., is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire the next generation of Georgia leaders by empowering high school students with essential business and community leadership skills through programs connecting a diverse group of enthusiastic peers and passionate professionals.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.