We Invest in the Future…

The Va Mag internship program first began in 2010. Students and recent graduates from Georgia area colleges and universities like Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, SCAD, UGA, Clayton State University, and many more, have participated in the program. We have taken on aspiring young adults with little to no writing experience and coached them through the writing, reporting, and interviewing process. Our interns learn to write compelling stories on deadline while using credible sources and tapping into their creativity. They also gain college course credit for their participation in the program.

Name: Claire Becknell, 2022

College: Kennesaw State University, Major: Journalism & Emerging Media

Claire Becknell

The Va Mag Experience: I interned with Visionary Artistry Magazine for about 6 months during the 2022 Spring Semester working on their social media presence. VA Mag is the first internship I had done and felt like the perfect opportunity for me to learn from such talented people. I didn’t know what to expect, but my nerves were quickly relieved when speaking to Jaya about all of the fun ideas we had planned for the magazine’s Instagram account. The feedback I received from Jaya was incredibly helpful in understanding the visual content on social media. As a student at Kennesaw State, I saw this internship as a great opportunity to step into the different fields of journalism and gain an understanding of how things work for a magazine. I was pushed to create the most compelling and eye-catching graphics that helped me realize how important social media presence is for a company. I learned so much about journalism as well as broadened my knowledge worldwide on topics involving art, music, fashion, and lifestyles. 

Kiah Armstrong

Name: Kiah Armstrong, 2021

College: Kennesaw State University, Major: Journalism

The Va Mag Internship Experience: When I first started as an Intern in December 2020 with Visionary Artistry magazine, I didn’t have too much experience when it came to writing for a magazine. Especially on a weekly basis. As a Journalism student at Kennesaw State University, I saw the growth opportunity that this internship could provide for me and I went for it. I was able to explore many different writing styles under Jaya’s influence. She pushed me to try new things and think outside of the box with everything I wrote for her. I also gained a lot more insight into the art scene of Atlanta which I can bring into my new summer internship at Atlanta Magazine. I graduate from Kennesaw State University this summer and I feel ready to go out into the world of journalism. 

Name: Abby Palazzo, 2020

Abby Palazzo

College: University of Georgia, Major: Journalism/Political Science

The Va Mag Internship Experience:
I wrote for VA Mag from the fall of 2019 into the spring of 2020. As a journalism and political science double major at the University of Georgia, I gained invaluable writing experience from Va Mag and built up my portfolio substantially. Growing up in Atlanta, I thought I knew a lot about the city already, but the articles I wrote about art and culture broadened my horizons in a way I could not have predicted. Being able to pitch to an editor, write on deadline, and gather news outside of school were all skills that I will continue to use throughout my writing life. In May 2020, I will graduate from UGA and begin an internship at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C.

**Update: In December 2020 Abby will relocate to Washington, D.C. to work for the Council on Foundations as a Communications Associate.

Name: Jack Stewart, 2020

College: Emory University, Major: Film and Creative Writing

The Va Mag Internship Experience: When I began writing for VA Mag. in the fall of 2019, I couldn’t possibly have braced myself for the formative experience it ended up being. Writing articles on different sectors of culture, art, activism, music, etc. broadened my perspective and allowed experimentation with the traditional method of academic writing that is taught in grade schools and honed in higher education. Writing in a relatable way, a way that truly permits the author’s voice to come through while telling a story is a skill that VA Mag. awakened and nurtured in my time writing for the publication. Whether it was attending a pre-screening of Virgil Abloh’s new art exhibit or writing a story about the artists behind “Tiny Doors ATL,” VA Mag spurred a newfound connection with my college city of Atlanta and a deeper understanding of what it means to inform, educate, and simultaneously bring joy to readers through writing.

Makhalath “Miki” Fahiym

Name: Makhalath “Miki” Fahiym, 2019

College: Georgia College & State University, Major: English

The Va Mag Internship Experience: I interned with Visionary Artistry Magazine from 2019 to 2020. I had been looking for an internship during my senior year that would allow me to gain journalistic writing experience and put into practice my English major beyond writing academic papers. I had never written for a publication before and I was excited about the opportunity to write about topics and cover events that aligned with my artistic interests. I loved the VA Mag concept as a platform for creatives and their unapologetic lifestyles, as well as the magazine’s deep connection to the Atlanta art scene. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I began my internship, but I discovered that VA Mag truly nurtured my creativity and encouraged my growth as a writer. Writing weekly articles taught me a lot about how to craft features for a magazine and the rigors of meeting deadlines. The feedback that I received from Jaya helped me to become a better writer. As my confidence grew, I developed greater fluidity and personality in my writing style. As a recent graduate, I hope to apply the skills that I have learned at VA Mag in future writing positions that I may pursue. Currently, I am a Fulbright semifinalist hoping to begin teaching English as a Second Language in South Korea and to blog about my experiences!

Name: Tasha Hayes, 2018

College: University of West Georgia, Major: English

The Va Mag Internship Experience: My VA Mag internship lasted for about six months from June 2018 to January 2019. After graduating college I was looking for an experience to fine-tune my writing skills. This internship allowed me to connect with local creatives and introduced me to the Atlanta art scene. The articles I wrote often took me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to new heights as a writer. After completing this internship I feel that the skills I’ve learned will continue to help me in my career as a writer. This experience made me understand that I didn’t have to limit my creativity. As a writer, I’m now comfortable writing about any topic that comes my way. I appreciate VA mag for allowing me to grow as a writer. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned during this internship and applying it to the next opportunity that comes my way.

Crysta Jones

Name: Crysta Jones, 2017
College: Georgia State University, Major: Journalism
The Va Mag Internship Experience: I wrote for Visionary Artistry Magazine from 2016 to 2017 during my Sophomore and Junior years at Georgia State University. Va Mag is the first platform that facilitated my transition as a Journalist. I learned how to meet deadlines, thoroughly research information for articles and write profile pieces. I wrote various stories on many underground and lesser-known creators, visual artists, musicians and designers. Recently, I began an internship at Creative Loafing Atlanta in 2018 for the Culture section. I also serve as a contributing writer for CL. I currently have another internship at the Beauty Consultant Magazine. I will graduate from Georgia State University in the Spring. I thank Va Mag for giving me a chance. 

Catherine Witherspoon, Va Mag Alumni
Catherine Witherspoon

Name: Catherine Witherspoon, 2014
College: B.A., Mercer University,  M.A. Syracuse University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: After completing a 15-month internship with Va Mag. Va Mag recommended Catherine to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she studied broadcast and digital journalism. After graduation, Va Mag assisted Catherine in landing her dream job as a Communications Specialist at the International Association of Public Health Institutes at Emory University. Now, she’s moved on to serve as a Storyteller for the Waffle House, Inc.

Geneva Toddy, Va Mag Alumni
Geneva Toddy

Name: Geneva Toddy, 2011
College: B.A., Journalism, Georgia State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: Genny started working as an editorial intern for Va Mag during her junior year at GSU. After graduation, Va Mag assisted Genny in landing a job with Business Wire as a Newsroom Editor in San Francisco, California. One year later, she moved again to work in Business Wire’s Nashville, Tennessee office. Genny also served as Va Mag’s Assistant Editor. In 2012 she launched an online music magazine called Creative Control.

Name: Blake Holmes, 2013
College: B.A., Health Physical Education & Recreation, Alcorn State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: When Blake began his internship with Va Mag, he was working as an attendant for the Chicago Park District. Now he serves as a Physical Instructor. “Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Learning about other people’s triumphs has given me extra motivation to chase my dreams as well. I started writing for Va Mag to keep my skills sharp, and ended up learning about people I would’ve never been introduced to.”

Stormm Van Rooi, Va Mag Alumni

Stormm Van Rooi

Name: Stormm Van Rooi, 2011
 B.A., Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication, Georgia State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: Stormm began her internship with Va Mag during her junior year of college. Years later she was promoted to our A&E reporter. Although Stormm has a strong interest in writing, her passion is missionary work. She recently returned from Zimbabwe, after six months of voluntary mission work. While abroad, Stormm was able to establish a feeding program to support developing rural areas and provided administrative guidance and support to Mind the Gap, an orphanage in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Previously, she worked in operations management in the private sector. Va Mag assisted Stormm in obtaining a position as an international program assistant for the International Association of Public Health Institutes. In this role, she works on web development, graphic design, and editorials. 

Courtney Blackann, Va Mag Alumni
Courtney Blackann

Name: Courtney Blackann, 2013
Masters of Professional Studies, Journalism, Georgetown University,
Youngstown State University, B.G.S.
The Va Mag Internship Experience:
I interned for VA Mag beginning December of 2013 and I was a weekly contributor until August of 2015. My time with VA Mag expanded my knowledge of feature writing, engaging in creative storytelling from multiple angles, and working virtually with a team of editors to ensure the best work was being published. Guided by Jaya and Jay Franklin, I came away with a stronger skill set for writing in-depth features.

(Right to Left) Golda Steinberg, Jaya Franklin and Stanley Walters
(Left to Right)
Va Mag Alumni Golda Steinberg, Jaya Franklin, and Va Mag Alumni Stan Walters

Stan Walters, 2011
College: Georgia State University, English Literature
The Va Mag Internship Experience: VA Mag provided me with a way to communicate great music and art. It was a pleasure working with Jay and Jaya. I also had the wonderful experience of getting feedback on my own articles by the artists and musicians themselves. Wonderful memories!

Elijah Yarbrough, Va Mag Alumni
Elijah Yarbrough

Name: Elijah Yarbrough, 2015 College: University of West Georgia, B.A. in English and a Discipline-Specific Writing Certificate

Current Job: Communications Tutor, Georgia State University-Perimeter College

The Va Mag Internship Experience: I started writing for the magazine in February 2015, and I really enjoyed the experience. I had been more accustomed to writing academic papers, but I learned how to tailor my writing for the magazine. Additionally, I had fun researching different topics and receiving feedback about my writing. It was truly a worthwhile experience that allowed me to grow as a writer, make great connections, and compile a substantial portfolio.

Devon Cotta, Va Mag Alumni
Devon Cotta

Name: Devon Cotta, 2014
College: Kennesaw State University, B.A. in English, American Studies minor
Current Job: Freelance Writer
The Va Mag Internship Experience: I enjoyed creating content for Va Mag. While not always immediately intrigued in an assigned subject, researching gave me the opportunity to investigate and appreciate each genre of art and express their accomplishments in my own way. I believe this experience helped me grow as a writer, especially after realizing that someone I was writing about might actually read the article. This is much different than a professor reading your paper in an academic setting. After a music artist tweeted about reading one of my stories, it made me realize how far-reaching words can be, and how powerful. Visionary Artistry magazine provided a great opportunity to build my writing portfolio and I had fun working with a contemporary platform.

Isabella Gomez

Name: Isabella Gomez, 2017
College: Georgia State University, B.A. in Journalism
Current Job: Social Discovery Intern, CNN/Freelance Writer, Teen Vogue
The Va Mag Internship Experience: I was an editorial intern for Va Mag during my sophomore year, and I loved covering art and culture events. I then went on to become a contributing editor for Unsweetened Magazine and News and Politics freelance contributor for Teen Vogue. Currently, I’m a Social Discovery intern at CNN. I’m looking forward to graduation and my future plans as a writer. I’m eternally grateful to the Va Mag team for believing in me as a journalist and giving me my first platform for self-expression. Writing for Va Mag gave me the freedom to find creative angles and tell stories in the best way possible. Jaya and Genny always encouraged me to find my own voice and connect with the subject however worked best for me. I not only learned how to strengthen my writing skills, but learned about so many artists and musicians I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. They’re still some of my favorites today.

Va Mag Alumni, Chris Simmons

Name: Chris Simmons, 2016

College: Clayton State University, A.A. Film Production, Georgia Film Academy

Current Job: Film Production Assistant, Marvel Studios

The Va Mag Internship Experience: Before interning with VA Mag, I had no concept of journalistic writing. I could write fiction or compose an A-Plus essay, but my true advanced writing skills were lacking. My weaknesses were exposed and corrected by VA Mag’s team and I’m stronger for it. Additionally, I gained so much exposure to art and music that I never would have discovered on my own. Stepping inside the mind of an artist, whether successful or still in the infancy of their career, has fueled my passions in ways I cannot explain. These days, I’m using my newly earned skills for writing screenplays and my first novel.

For more information about the Va Mag Internship Program send an email to