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JEA names Florida teen its 2012 JEA Aspiring Young Journalist

The Journalism Education Association named Veronica Gordo of Nativity School in Hollywood, Fla., as its 2012 Aspiring Young Journalist at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle, April 12-15.

Runners-up were Alyssa Fasolo of Altonna (Pa.) Area Junior High School, and  Savannah Smith, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Louisville, Ky.

Members of the JEA Junior High/Middle School Commission reviewed the students’ portfolios and made the selections.

This award encourages junior high/middle school students to continue with their journalistic studies in high school. The winner and runners-up received a certificate for their achievements.

Veronica Gordo

Nativity School, Hollywood, Fla.

Veronica Gordo

Veronica is editor-in-chief of The Knightly News at Nativity School. She has also been assistant editor and a reporter for the newsmagazine.

In her introductory letter, Veronica wrote, “I find that no matter where I look there is a story to be found, and I see that it is my job to tell it.”

In her free time, Veronica writes poetry, short stories and a book that she hopes to publish one day.

Her adviser, Lynn Moore, writes. “She represents the finest in today’s band of backpack journalists as she is unafraid to grab her pen, cellphone and camera and craft a story on the spot.”

2012 JEA Aspiring Young Journalist Runner-up

Alyssa Fasolo

Altoona (Pa.) Area Junior High School

Alyssa Fasolo

Alyssa is a writer, photographer and blogger for the Maroon and White Gazette at Altoona Area Junior High School. She has also worked on the online newspaper “The Livewire.”

An honor student and softball player, Alyssa is a member of the honor society, string ensemble and orchestra.

“The main quality that contributes to Alyssa’s success is her positive attitude,” writes her adviser, Wanda Pletcher. “She believes she is capable of anything and tries to impart that positive attitude to everyone she encounters. She doesn’t allow the stress of her rigorous academic schedule to interfere with her positive attitude. Her smile brightens my room.”

2012 JEA Aspiring Young Journalist Runner-up

Savannah Smith

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Louisville, Ky.

Savannah Smith

Savannah is the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. As a seventh grader, she was editor-in-chief of the school yearbook, Revolution.

She plans to continue her studies in communication in high school and later at Western Kentucky University.

Savannah wants to become a print journalist and work her way up to an editor position. One day she hopes to publish her own magazine.

Savannah’s adviser, Margaret Mattingly, writes, “She is always ready to lend a helping hand, volunteers for extra assignments and is very reliable.”