The Bulldog Times expands its reach with 7Leaves fundraiser

Social media manager Katie Cheng (11) and advisor Ms. Tse discuss the Bulldog Times’ latest fundraiser with 7Leaves

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Pictured: Front: Avery Rosas (10), Bailee Alejos (11), and Katie Cheng (11) Back row: Ms. Eileen Tse, Katilyn Jimenez (10), Trinity Philips (12), Emily Gutierrez (10), Olivia Mendoza (10), Isabel Sim (10), and Sayee Deshmukh (10)

Isabel Sim, Features editor

The clink of change and chatter fills the room as customers line up to pay for their drinks. Along the wall, pictures of the drinks on the menu describe the ingredients and flavor of each drink. Towards the back, people study at their desks, sipping their tea every so often.

Boba shop 7Leaves held its first fundraiser with the Ayala journalism program, the Ayala Bulldog Times on March 18th in order to raise money for the journalism website, equipment such as cameras and microphones, and organizational activities such as banquets and preparation for 8th Grade Night. 

The fundraiser was promoted in an ad in K9 news and through flyers and announcements. Social media manager for the Bulldog Times Katie Cheng (11), who set up the collaboration between 7Leaves and the Bulldog Times, recognizes 7Leaves’ drive to make a change in the community, ultimately resulting in growth for both organizations. 

“I chose to partner with 7Leaves because I loved how inclusive they are, especially within their community,” Cheng said. “They truly care about the customers, and you can tell by all their locations and the way they interact that they’re really engaging with [their audience].”

Since Cheng’s position as the social media manager at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the Bulldog Times has been using social media to reach a larger audience, mainly the students at Ayala who might attend fundraising events or interact with content put out on the website. 

“With the website alone, you can’t exactly hit an audience as easily [as with social media] without getting people to get excited about your site or without getting them to see it easily. With the help of Instagram and TikTok, we’re helping [the Bulldog Times] to grow. You need the community to be able to grow a community, which I think is a beautiful concept, but it’s also really tough.”

“The money goes towards website hosting, different equipment [used to] broaden [our work] into podcasting and video production. There are also perks and incentives for being a part of the program or activities to boost motivation like banquets or the Quill and Scroll ceremony,” journalism advisor Ms. Tse said. 

For Tse, journalism can come with a set of skills that prove helpful in the long run later in the workforce, such as mastering active listening skills or combining sources to get a general idea. 

“Even if a student doesn’t go into newspapers, [there are skills that you gain], such as reaching out to someone you don’t know and interviewing them or having a genuine conversation with them,” said Tse. “Having active listening skills is really valuable, and [being able to] take a bunch of different sources from different people and synthesizing it together is a very valuable skill that you can take into any sort of job or project.”

The Ayala journalism program is divided into four different sections–sports, features, news, and arts & entertainment– each with an editor in charge of a group of staff members. Articles on student news and issues, school-based and nation-wide sports, music, art, and students at school are published on a weekly basis as they are written. Applications can be found on the Bulldog Times website under “Join BDT Application.”