General Session: “The Innocence Project”

I was torn as to which session I wanted to go to. Did I want to laugh at the Improv in the Morning session, or did I want to hear about something that I didn’t even know existed and how students just like us are making a major impact on more than just their campus? In the end, among other factors, it came down to the fact that I am rooming with the incredibly funny Al Drago on this trip, and he makes us laugh enough with all of the antics.

I mentioned above about how these students with Northwestern’s Medill Innocence Project are just like us in the sense that they are students and learning about journalism. After the session, I felt like that truly was not the case.

The students and the work they do is absolutely amazing. Even the project’s director, Alec Klein, said some of the students that take the class drop all of their other classes just for that class because of the intensity and time it requires.

In very brief terms, the general gist of the Innocence Project, in case you hadn’t heard about it like I had not, is to basically reopen cases that have been closed by justice officials. Students dig through countless court records, track people down, gain trusting relationships with people and get the truth in the end. The amount of effort put into this project is incredible, and to hear some of the things these students have done in the past while trying to uncover the truth were amazing.

I was amazed at the work these students do while in the class. I really don’t know what else to say. It was incredible to see what they are doing as college students. They make an impact of real world people. Not just around their campus.

-Andrew Wilson

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