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James Allen (VP of Finance) and Daphne Cheung (President) Credit: Emily Xu

Two Penn students have launched a magazine to combine both creativity and community engagement.

Founded at the end of last year by a group of Penn students, UnEarthed Magazine is an educational publication geared toward middle and high school students in West Philadelphia. The student team plans to distribute the magazine for free in public schools that might not be able to afford magazines such as Scholastic or National Geographic.

Engineering junior Daphne Cheung, who is UnEarthed’s founder and president, said she was motivated to start the project because educational magazines shaped her own love of learning. She said that magazines such as National Geographic for Kids were “the most exciting thing[s]” she read as a child and led to her interest in science and history.

Realizing that not all students have access to these materials prompted her to start UnEarthed. “I found that there’s this unmet need that a group of Penn students could very easily fill, and I thought it would be very fun at the same time,” Cheung said.

The group plans to produce one issue of UnEarthed each semester with articles approaching a central theme from different angles. This semester's publication is focused on monsters, so articles will examine different types of insects, Komodo dragons and Greek mythology. Each article is accompanied by eye-catching, descriptive graphics. 

Members said UnEarthed is distinct from both other publications and other community service organizations.

Wharton junior Amy Qu, who is the managing editor for the magazine, added that it stands out from other Penn publications, which are often pre-professional, because it is “a fun magazine geared towards a younger audience for a community service purpose.”   

Wharton junior James Allen, who is the magazine's vice president of finance, said UnEarthed provides a different route for service. He described it as a "unique way to educate and to contribute to learning in West Philly beyond the traditional routes" such as tutoring.

The team consists of just under 30 students who work as writers, editors and designers, each bringing their unique skills and passions to the magazine. College freshman Ava Cruz, who is the magazine's vice president of design, said she became involved because of her love for graphic design. 

“I’d be helping out people through using something that I am really passionate about,” Cruz said. She stressed that production is a collaborative experience, with writers, designers and editors all working together on the same articles.

The first issue of UnEarthed is set for release in early December.