191027-yh-ul-meetthestaff

The 2019-20 Unleashed team gathers in the Yakima Herald-Republic’s press room.

Meet the 20th anniversary team.

The first time readers of the Yakima Herald-Republic ever saw the Unleashed selection of articles, photography and illustrations created by area high school students was on Sept. 7, 1999. The debut installment contained stories written by Zillah’s Tiffany Gorrebeeck, Wapato’s Shara Smith and Naches Valley’s Emily Garrigues. Selah’s Brad J. Wilson provided that issue’s first student-generated photo, and Davis High School’s Amy Elgin created the initial illustration. They were part of the original Unleashed team of about 35 teenagers whose section ran on a couple of pages every Tuesday during most of the program’s first decade.

After the popular program was canceled in early 2009 for budgetary reasons, Unleashed returned to the newspaper the following October through a new partnership with the newspaper involving Educational Service District 105 and area high schools. This fall not only marks the program’s 20th anniversary, but also the 10th anniversary of its revival through the continued support and involvement of those school organizations.

Today, Unleashed’s teen-generated content appears in the Herald-Republic on the fourth Sunday of every month. Readers can find additional material online in the section’s website, Facebook, and Twitter platforms.

About 383 area teens have been a part of the Unleashed experience during the past 20 years. An elite group of just 28 of have even been involved in the section during all four years of high school — a distinction that now includes current veterans Anna Ergeson of Selah and Cara Pedrosa of Davis.

So now, representing the high schools of Davis, East Valley, Eisenhower, La Salle, Riverside Christian, Selah, West Valley and Zillah, here are the 20 young people of Unleashed’s 20th anniversary team.