Student Access

Lookout believes that all students deserve to know deeply about the place they live in. Now, for 30,000 students (and soon more as we expand to area high schools) in Santa Cruz County, Lookout now offers free student memberships.

UCSC Students
(Carolyn Lagattuta / UC Santa Cruz)
Cabrillo students

Here’s how it works:

All current UCSC and Cabrillo students can sign up for a year-long, free membership to Lookout. Upon registration students will receive full access to Lookout’s robust local news coverage and newsletters.

UCSC Students sign up here, enter your .edu email address to complete your registration.

Cabrillo Students sign up here

Stories authored by high school students

Lookout worked with students at Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Diamond Technology Institute charter high school through the 2021-22 school year. As a demonstration project, supported by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Lookout provided the school’s students and teachers complete access to Lookout’s local news and information, which has been used in several classes. This spring, Lookout staffers worked with Diamond Technology juniors, who interviewed Watsonville community members to create their own version of Lookout’s ongoing Unsung Santa Cruz series. We feature the students’ contributions below.

Stories from Diamond tech

Want to Support this Initiative?

Donors make free student membership possible.

They know that both old-fashioned civics and modern media literacy have never been more essential, and they support getting fact-based, trustworthy local news to students with their tax-deductible donations.

If you are interested in donating to this program or a specific School, reach out to Ken Doctor,

A Special Deal for Faculty and Staff

Lookout appreciates the work professors and those who support them do everyday. We say thank you & offer all UCSC & Cabrillo faculty a Special 15% discount.

Sign up for this special membership here and use code ‘UCSC15' or ‘Cabrillo15’.

About Lookout’s Student Engagement Program

You, the readers of Lookout Santa Cruz, support Santa Cruz’s County’s biggest and fastest growing newsroom every day with your memberships. It is you who pay our growing roster of journalists to do their reporting for you. We know, though, that some people can’t afford to pay, so we have launched a major Student Engagement program in Santa Cruz County. We have asked donors to pay for student access, as Lookout provides a 90% discount for qualified students. Our call has been answered with great generosity, and we’d like to thank our initial donors:

Rowland & Pat Rebele

Linda Peterson

Carol & Doug Melamed

The UCSC Foundation Board Opportunity Fund

Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

Turnip Top Foundation

Each has generously supported delivering the news -- local news -- to Santa Cruz County’s students. Yet, our work is just beginning.

How and Why Lookout is Launching Our Student Engagement Initiative

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Jamie Keil, Lookout’s new Director of Student Engagement & Membership. An alum of six years of wide-ranging student and community outreach at Santa Cruz’s Museum of Art & History, Jamie now leads this model program.

Jamie Keil headshot
Jamie Keil, Director of Student Engagement & Membership
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“We want to deliver the great work of my Lookout colleagues to all the students in the county, and we’d like to see it used in the classrooms, week by week,” says Jamie. “I’m reaching out to students, student groups, faculty and staff as fast as I can to spread the word about our new program. We want to see students get the news and use it to better understand, and get involved, in our community.”

Jamie -- who is reachable at -- is now focusing on both the UCSC and Cabrillo campuses. But, she’s got an eye on the wider goal: Getting Lookout to all college and high school students -- that’s 42,000 in total, one of every seven Santa Cruz County residents -- in the county.

“We’re halfway funded to provide all Pajaro Valley Unified School District students with Lookout, and we hope to complete that soon,” says Jamie. Then, we plan to complete the student program throughout the county.

Already, one PVUSD school is using Lookout every week.


When Santa Cruz Community Credit Union’s (SCCCU) Katie Fairbairn, its Vice President of Communications and organizational development, heard about Lookout’s program, she seized a new opportunity. The credit union has supported the charter Diamond Tech Institute in Watsonville, and Katie offered new support for the Lookout membership. SCCCU CEO Beth Carr had established support for Diamond Tech years ago and is one of its strongest advocates.

Diamond Tech principal Marci Keller immediately saw its value and within two weeks, Diamond Tech students and teachers are already finding multiple ways to integrate local news into their curriculum.

That’s the model that Lookout intends with our ambitious new program: First student access. Then, curriculum integration as educators see fit. Then, a range of programs, involving students in media creation and incorporating student voices into the fabric of Lookout.

How you can help: We’d love to talk with additional individuals and businesses enthusiastic about the Student Engagement program. Support of the program can be tax-deductible as well. Please contact either Jamie or me to get more information and share ideas on how to further enlarge the program.

Ken Doctor, CEO & Founder