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2 Flowery Branch High students plugged into learning
Pair experienced the fast-paced world of broadcast news this summer
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Corey O’Quinn, left, and Ray Bell pose for a picture during their weeklong "Leadership Unplugged" class at CNN. The two Flowery Branch High School students were among 100 high school juniors and seniors to attend.

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Flowery Branch High School junior Corey O’Quinn talks about the one-week "Leadership Unplugged" class he participated in at CNN this summer.

Two Flowery Branch High School students got to go behind the scenes at CNN in Atlanta this summer as part of the one-week "Leadership Unplugged" class.

Corey O’Quinn and Ray Bell were among 100 high school juniors and seniors who attended daily workshops on media, current events and expanding worldviews.

CNN and Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing sponsored the course, which "was focused on the skills you need to be a leader in the broadcasting field," O’Quinn said.

Participants stayed at Georgia Tech June 22-27, with costs picked up by Turner Broadcasting System.

They got to meet with CNN and TBS executives in a variety of media-related careers, talk about world issues with CNN journalists and create a news-related project.

"We had to prepare a news story pitch and ... make a poster and storyboard," O’Quinn said. "At the end of the week, we presented our pitch to seven or eight (CNN executives)."

Bell, despite repeated tries, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Flowery Branch broadcasting teacher Lori Koser recommended O’Quinn and Bell for the program.

Word had traveled to her during the summer about the program. "They are there and having a blast," she wrote of her students in an e-mail.

The week wasn’t all work for participants.

At Georgia Tech, the students got to visit a computer center, enjoy TV and music listening rooms in the student center and take advantage of a swimming pool and basketball courts at the campus recreation center.

"It was an awesome time," O’Quinn said. "It was definitely the highlight of my summer. It was great to network with people that I could possibly be needing to talk to get a job in the future, since that’s sort of the area I’m looking at going into."

A senior, he wants to major in video broadcasting or film in college.

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