HOUSTON - In honor of Black History Month, we took a look at the oldest high school media program in HISD.
Jack Yates High School has the oldest high school media program in HISD. Nestled in third ward, it was once the premiere high school for communication.
The photography program started in 1950 and print and broadcast journalism started being offered in 1978.
But it slowly lost its luster. Now, school administrators are fighting to change that by not only upgrading it's equipment, but the campus too.
"Yates High School is a historically black school founded by Rev. Jack Yates – 1926," said Ted Irving, the school's magnet program coordinator.
Walking into one of the many communication classrooms, you'll see some of the latest media technology right at students fingertips.
"What we do is give students solid training, applied science in tv, film, print. broadcasting, radio," Irving said. They've got a full Mac lab, professional grade radio and podcasting gear and even a TV set.
The issue is, it's all crammed into a handful of classrooms, sometimes spilling over into common spaces like the library when classes need that extra bit of room. But that's all set to change next school year when Yates moves into its new state-of-the-art building.
The goal is to return the program to flagship status so that it's inner city students have the skills to compete in the real world.
"It's the same rule we've all grown up with in the black community – you've gotta be 10 times better than your competition and that's the goal here," Irving said.
A goal staff say will be within reach once they settle in their new location. The communication program celebrates 40 years in September - the same month it's scheduled to move into the new building.