Scholarships support high school journalists


As part of its endeavor to recruit young, talented journalists to newspapers, the HSPA Foundation recently awarded two $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors who plan to major in print journalism.

Indianapolis students Carley Lanich from Lawrence Central High School and Ashley Shuler of Ben Davis High School won the 2014 grants that they may use for books, tuition, fees, housing or any other legitimate expense related to their college education.

The announcement of the winners came during the annual Indiana High School Press Association’s First Amendment Symposium March 5 in the North Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.

Lanich’s grade point average of 4.386 ranks her No. 17 in a class of 570. Shuler’s 4.9255 places her eighth in a class of 986.

At the symposium IHSPA recognized the Indiana Student Journalist of the Year – Lanich – who will represent the state in the National Journalist of the Year competition.

The other finalists included Maggie Gelon, Crown Point High School; Nicholas Jordan, Portage High School; Daniel Kleschick, North Central High School; Shuler; and Jamie Zega, Lake Central High School.

Lanich’s application essay described her campaign to bring multimedia packages to her high school newspaper, where she served as print editor-in-chief.

In her closing statement she shared, “After my high school experiences, I am convinced that journalism is not becoming obsolete. It is more prevalent now than ever. People want the news, and they want it fast. The journalism industry is simply evolving, and as journalists we must evolve with it.”

Lanich needed a half page to list her national and state awards.

Shuler serves as editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, has straight A’s and twice received the Presidential Academic Excellence award.

Both scholarship winners serve on the Indiana High School Press Association Board and made the National High School Press Association Journalism Honor Roll.

After several years of holding its own high school journalist contest, the HSPA Foundation began to partner with the Indiana High School Press Association.

“We realized after a conversation with IHSPA executive director Diana Hadley that the same students applied for our scholarships and Student Journalist of the Year,” said Karen T. Braeckel, director of the HSPA Foundation. “It seemed natural to join forces and spare the students’ time to double enter.”

Braeckel sits on the Student Journalist of the Year judging panel.

“The top portfolios in this contest could compete with our Pulliam Internship applications,” Braeckel said. “We should feel encouraged that such outstanding students choose journalism.”

Mary Beth Tinker of the landmark 1969 Supreme Court ruling in Tinker v Des Moines spoke at the First Amendment Symposium and encouraged students in their journalistic endeavors.