Outreach projects


Students working in the PIN Bureau engage local, Phoenix-area communities in addition to their work with PIN partner newsrooms. PIN Bureau students each select a local community to engage in person and online, and they produced multimedia projects reflecting the perspectives they heard along the way.

Summer 2017 projects

Phoenix’s thriving boxing community often goes unrecognized

Peter Cheng spent time with members of the Phoenix boxing community to see why they dedicate their time and energy where there is little money to be made and not a lot of attention being paid.

How communities are helping our feline friends through TNR

Jessica Lizza talked to volunteers and advocates of controlling the stray cat populations in Phoenix to better understand what challenges they face when dealing with such a “catastrophe.”

Mormon progressives in Arizona talk about being a part of the minority

Joseph Jacquez followed members of the Mormon Church, who lean on the liberal side, to see how they work within a traditionally conservative religion.

PHX2600: Hack the Stigma

Bri Wagner learned from hackers in the Phoenix area what challenges they faced in participating in a stereotypically frown upon hobby.


Spring 2017 projects

Help A Dog Smile: The animal rescue that helps dogs find their forever home

Amber Franklin talked with volunteers of Help A Dog Smile, an organization that takes care of stray dogs until they can find the animals a permanent home.

More than a mom: Young mothers learn how to establish their identities

Alex Walters spent time with teen mothers to see how they define themselves outside of their parental duties.

Arizona volunteers provide critical support to county, state parks

Elliott Adams followed volunteers who clean up state parks that lack the budget for full maintenance services.

Arizona shows growth in women-owned businesses, cultivates startup culture

Melanie Whyte learned from female entrepreneurs what challenges they faced in starting their own business and how they define success.

Dungeons & Dragons: How fantasy can build human skills

Lori Fusak spent time with a group of friends who play the game and learned what skills they gain in the process.

Fitness gives breast cancer survivors in the Valley power to recover

Brooke Pettet talked with women who beat breast cancer about how fitness plays a role in their recovery.

Native American artists in Phoenix express experiences, community issues and cultural pride

Madelaine Braggs examined issues in the Native American community through the lens of native artists.

Immigrant teachers boost bilingual education in Arizona classrooms

Elisabeth Niman spent time with non American born teachers to see how they teach students their native language.

Native American farmers fight for representation in Arizona

Emma Green learned about the governmental need for input from the Native American farming community.

Music on the Rise: Downtown Phoenix

Emily Houck examined how the rise of local bands corresponds with the resurgence of downtown Phoenix.

How one Valley resident is living with autism instead of ‘dealing’ with it

Marissa Sanchez talked with a woman who has Asperger’s syndrome about her experiences entering the workforce.

Transgender community in Phoenix speaks out about finding support, discrimination

DaJa Maxwell examined issues in the transgender community and how the local transgender community responds to those issues.

The millennial Republican: A deeper look at the next generation of conservatives at ASU

Megan Amandio spoke with college Republicans about their beliefs and how they differ from prior generations.

Fall 2016 projects

South Phoenix neighborhood patrol works with police and community to fight crime

Jade Frazier examined how a community group, the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women of Phoenix, work to keep their community safe and decrease conflict.

The young elephant: How Republican millennials feel among their peers

Katherine Decker spent time with the Arizona State University College Republicans to explore how conservative millennials feel about their politics.

Homeless men in Arizona: Are the resources enough?

Kimberly Simpson talked with leaders at Central Arizona Shelter Services and the Phoenix Rescue Mission to see what programs are available to help homeless men.

Phoenix nonprofits prepare for possible change to federal overtime law

Sydnee Schwartz looked at how Phoenix nonprofits will try to maintain their services despite possible changes to the federal overtime law.

The quest for five percent: The Green Party’s fight for federal funding

James Bunting spent time with the Arizona Green Party, who saw Election 2016 as a chance to increase awareness of their progressive goals.

School in the city: Engagement between students, teachers and parents at ASU Prep

Libby Allnatt explored the relationships at ASU Prep and how a sense of community at the charter school impacts the education

Small businesses and their connection to the Phoenix community

Rolando Terrazas engaged with local businesses in downtown Phoenix, learning how they value their role in making the community sustainable and supporting people in need.

Driven: Why one mother travels 200 miles each week to study for the GED

Cassie Ronda rode with a 28-year-old mother to learn why she drives 200 miles each week to study for the GED at the Wilson Community Center

The fight to end Arizona’s teen opioid epidemic is a collaborative effort

Lia Juriansz connected with different groups in Phoenix committed to helping teens who are fighting addiction.

Summer 2016 projects

Veterans of Morenci create new homecoming decades after return from war

Selena Makrides traveled to Morenci, Ariz., to show the connection between a group of veterans and their hometown.

In a growing real estate market, realtors address challenges of Hispanic buyers

Damon Smith connected with realtors to learn how they’re working to better serve the Hispanic real estate market.

Handmade crafts: How Tempe seniors stay active, create gifts for community

Hannah Dickens connected with members of a senior center craft group. The group is made up of seniors from many different cultures who all come together to make crafts to share with people around the Valley.

Arizona Hispanic chamber provides resources, support for budding businesses

Katelyn Kondrath connected with Hispanic business owners to learn more about their businesses and the role played by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the community.

Arizona immigrants rights group motivated by community, family

Jacob Faber profiled the volunteers and staff members of Promise Arizona, a faith-based organization that provides resources for immigrants in the Grand Canyon State.

Ballet folklorico: The rise of traditional Mexican dance organizations

Anokina Touman connected with members of the folklorico community in the Phoenix area to hear about how each group got its start.

Spring 2016 projects

Vibrant Latino arts community reflects generational differences

Lindsay Robinson connected with members of the local art scene. She explores the differences in the arts community, especially across generations.

Salsa Dancing:Embracing the cultural, social and stereotypical features

Hannah Cissell connected with members of local salsa dancing groups. She explains the differences in the way people think about salsa dancing.

Decades after addressing discrimination, Post 41 continues to bring community together

Alexandria Coleman connected with members of local American Legion post. She illustrates the stories of veterans who call this post home.

Tolleson community garden to bring generations together

Jolanie Martinez travelled to Tolleson, Arizona to explore the powers of a community garden.

Mosque in Tempe opens doors to Latino converts

Keerthi Vendantam explores the second-largest mosque in Maricopa County.

Latino history and identity cultivation through theater, still thrives centuries later

Maria Lopez integrated herself into the phoenix theater scene to learn about what theater means to the performers.

Fall 2015 projects

Mariachi is in high demand in the Valley

Miranda VanHorn connected with members of the local mariachi music scene. She explores the increase in music programs celebrating the folk music of Mexico.

Hispanic, Latino, Chicano?

Claire Caulfield met with Hispanic and Latino community college and university students. She shares how some turn to student groups to find a sense of belonging.

Phoenix engineers show optimism for rising Hispanic population

Chris Caraveo spoke with Hispanic engineers in a profession struggling to fill the void left by those retiring. He shares their advice for the generations of future engineers.

Arizona DREAMers face struggles beyond going to college

Alexis Macklin talked to Valley DREAMers who earned degrees despite financial difficulties. She shares the struggles of undocumented immigrant students working toward receiving higher education.

Hispanic businesses are on the rise in Arizona

Stacia Affelt met with some of Arizona’s Latina business owners. She explores how Hispanic-owned businesses are on the rise in Arizona, and she shares advice from some women leading those businesses.

Summer 2015 projects

Arizona sees growth in biking community as more women hit the road

Margaret Staniforth talked with dozens of women motorcyclists to understand what’s behind Arizona’s 11 percent increase in female bikers since 2012. She shares their stories of love, loss and the thrill of the open road.

He, She, They, Ze: The importance of preferred gender pronouns in the transgender community

Tamsyn Stonebarger connected with members of local transgender communities in the midst of personal and cultural transitions. She explores how simple pronouns can have profound effects on how we see ourselves and each other.

The Valley jazz community sees resurgence in downtown Phoenix

Alexandra Watts hit the Valley jazz scene and heard from the musicians, fans and volunteers who are working to bring the local jazz community together. She profiles The Nash, a venue at the center of a downtown Phoenix jazz resurgence, and shares a guide to other local jazz hot spots.

We invite you to click on the projects below to read and listen to their work.


How one Valley resident is living with autism instead of ‘dealing’ with it

(Beneficial Beans Cafe at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix by Marissa Sanchez) By Marissa Sanchez When people come across a problem, often the immediate response is to find a solution. But in everyday life, some issues do not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center,  a nonprofit organization in Phoenix, works with … Continue reading How one Valley resident is living with autism instead of ‘dealing’ with it

Transgender community in Phoenix speaks out about finding support, discrimination

By DaJa Maxwell Some people feel as though they were born the wrong gender and may struggle with their identity throughout their lives. It is not something that is openly talked about in many homes, and they may struggle to find support. “When you are growing up, dealing with these emotions, sometimes you don’t know where … Continue reading Transgender community in Phoenix speaks out about finding support, discrimination

The millennial Republican: A deeper look at the next generation of conservatives at ASU

Updated on Friday, April 28 CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Jennifer Custis’ position on the war on drugs. She did not explicitly share her position on the war on drugs with the PIN Bureau. The earlier version also incorrectly reported Custis’ class standing. She is a junior.  By Megan Amandio Throughout the past … Continue reading The millennial Republican: A deeper look at the next generation of conservatives at ASU

Immigrant teachers boost bilingual education in Arizona classrooms

(Photo by Elisabeth Niman) By Elisabeth Niman It’s lunchtime for the second- and fourth-graders. Young children swarm everywhere, chattering about what they have brought for lunch and what they want to do after school. They pull out brightly colored lunch bags and eat salad off of plates. Some of their conversations may sound foreign to the … Continue reading Immigrant teachers boost bilingual education in Arizona classrooms

Women Who Ride

Arizona sees growth in biking community as more women hit the road.


The Valley jazz community sees resurgence in downtown Phoenix.