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Topeka High’s Next Free Spirit

Mazzy Martinez, Social Media Manager

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Julia Howell, editor-in-chief of “The World” and Kansas’ next Al Neuharth Free Spirit

For the last 18 years, The Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference chooses one student journalist from each state for a five-day stay in Washington D.C.

Alongside the all-expenses-paid journalism conference, those selected receive a $1,000 scholarship. To be considered to participate in the journalism conference, student journalists must submit two letters of recommendation, two essays, and three examples of your work in publications.

This year, junior Julia Howell was chosen as the Kansas representative at the 2017 conference. She is the second Topeka High journalist to be chosen in a row. Last year, senior Adam Cole was chosen and in 2012, Joseph Vosburgh was the first Topeka High student to be chosen as the Kansas representative.

“Adam [Cole] had gone to the conference and he never stopped talking about it and it sounded like something that I would want to do,” said Howell, “I wanted to be exposed to something like that because that’s what I want to do for a career.”

The conference includes various panel discussions, a tour of the USA Today office, and journalistic experiences.

“I’ve never really had an experience so brief, yet so life-changing,” said Cole, “It’s jam-packed. You learn a ton. But what really blew me away was that I met so many notable people.”

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