Jefferson High School student journalists decided to do something creative this year to raise money for their program. They designed a T-shirt.

Attendance at Gridiron on Sept. 30 will offer an opportunity to meet these student journalists and support their quest for truth. For just $20, Gridiron folk can get an uber-cool shirt and support these bright teenagers.

Jefferson offers three classes focused on journalism taught by Melissa Carroll: Journalism I, a photojournalism course and a newspaper/yearbook course of 12 students.

“At this point our main function is to create awareness of the First Amendment and the function of journalism,” Carroll said. “President Trump is not popular with most of my students but he does serve as a starting point for many conversations.”

Jefferson was built in 1932. Students began publishing their student newspaper The Declaration and yearbook Monticello within two years after the doors opened.

“The publications have long been a part of the Jefferson tradition, but in recent history journalism has had a struggle in SAISD,” Carroll said.

Several notable journalists attended Jefferson.  Loren Jenkins won a Pulitzer for his reporting of the siege of Beirut in 1982 for the Washington Post. Joseph Harmes wrote for Time and Newsweek magazines and became bureau chief for People magazine in Miami and Houston. Jim Lehrer graduated from Jefferson. He anchored the PBS NewsHour and moderated 12 U.S. presidential debates.

The school’s website shows Carroll sponsors an international honor society for student journalists, Quill and Scroll. Founded in 1926, the organization works with students in more than 14,000 chapters.

She said one of her students received a full scholarship to Texas State University to major in communication arts.

The students’ T-shirt fulfills their goal of raising awareness and financial support. The best place to pick up your shirt is at Gridiron. But, if you can’t attend, you can order by emailing Melissa Carroll or calling her at 210-413-7341.