Boca resident Shawn Sherlock is giving kids a chance to learn what it is like to produce a magazine.
From writers and graphic designers to editors and photographers, Spotlight Kids is a publication created by kids for kids.
The publication began as Spotlight Families with a section called Spotlight Kids. Now, the entire publication has morphed into Spotlight Kids.
“Our focus for the entire magazine is going to be all kids,” Sherlock said. “We feel like this was the meaning for the magazine in the first place.”
Sherlock has a background in news. She was a reporter for ABC, NBC and a sideline reporter who covered the Miami Heat. She took a break after she had her first sone, Aiden, but she said she had a hard time getting back into the demanding hours of news reporting.
“It was really hard,” she said. “I did some freelancing. I started a weekend show.”
Then, she got pregnant again with her youngest, Shane. She said she delved into the mom life and noticed there was a lot of news outlets tailored towards moms, but not many for families.
So, she started Spotlight Families magazine in 2014. It is dropped off at 75 places from Vero Beach to Deerfield and mailed to families. Its mission it to inform and inspire families.
Included in the magazine was a section written by kids.
“We would get a ton of feedback on social media and letters to our office,” she said of the support of the kids’ pieces.
That’s when she said she knew there was something else she could do with the magazine- focus it entirely on kids.
So, she said they had a contest where kids could submit photos and articles. From there, they selected 24 kids to work as reporters, photographers, graphic designers and illustrators.
“The kids that are with us I am deeply passionate about working with them,” she said. “They are amazing. We feel like such a family.”
The kids have covered an event at Morikami, attended a day with the Dolphins and written food reviews.
Becca Zerbo, 17, of Boca said she wrote an article on self-empowerment.
“I love meeting new people,” she said. “I like connecting with others and being able to hear their stories.”
“We have such a great, diverse group of kids,” Sherlock said. “They are all so uniquely talented. The kids bring out our mission of inspiring kids.”