Free Spirits

From the release:

    One hundred two high school students from across the United States who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism and have qualities of “free spirit” have been selected to participate in the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholarship and Conference program March 17-22 in Washington.

    Two top students each will win a $50,000 college scholarship. The other 100 students will receive $1,000 scholarships each. The top winners will be announced at a Free Spirit Awards ceremony at the National Press Club on March 21.

    Forty-one U.S. newspapers joined the Freedom Forum in soliciting applications from high school seniors. Applicants were required to provide samples of their journalistic work and write an essay on free spirit. Scholarship winners – one female and one male from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia – were selected through a competitive process.

    The scholarship winners will be brought to Washington to receive their awards and participate in a journalism conference where they will tour several media organizations and participate in sessions led by noted broadcast and print journalists and newsmakers. The conference culminates with the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Awards ceremony.

    “These are bright, impressive, energetic and exciting students,” said Neuharth. “We want to bring them together, recognize their accomplishments thus far and let them know that if they can dream it, they can do it.”

    The Al Neuharth Free Spirit Awards recognize top high school journalism seniors who are free spirits. It was established by the Freedom Forum to honor Al Neuharth, the founder of the Freedom Forum and USA TODAY. The scholarships and conference program are designed to assist and inspire students who are pursuing journalism careers. The Close Up Foundation assists the Freedom Forum in administering the program.

    “We hope this conference will inspire these students to follow their dreams,” said Charles L. Overby, chairman, CEO and president of the Freedom Forum and Diversity Institute. “And we look forward to meeting a new generation of free spirits and future leaders.”