I tried my best and submitted a lengthy portfolio of my work, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I received a letter in the mail today from Washington Journalism Education Association formally rejecting my application for Journalist of the Year.

They were very polite about it, but the message was the same. You are a loser, but thank you for applying.

The hardest part is that I knew the rejection letter was coming. I was very confident at first, but I gave up hope as soon as I saw that Nick Fiorillo had applied via Issuu/Twitter because, honestly, he may become the President of the United States.

So, I may feel bitter about all of this, but I want to be the first one to shake Fiorillo’s hand on Saturday to congratulate him. All student journalists are like a big family, and we are all very much alike.

The letter read “Thank you for submitting your application and portfolio for the WJEA Journalist of the Year Award. It was such a pleasure to review your work because it shows that you truly love being a student journalist and all of the hard work it encompasses. The review committee saw evidence of your growth as a writer throughout the portfolio. You seem to enjoy and take pride in the interviewing process and writing stories of merit. This was evident in the stories featuring the math teacher who recently passed away due to cancer and the expansion of the Sunrise development and impact it will make on Emerald Ridge High School. Also to be commended was the feature on the mice problem at your school.

“Not only are you an effective writer, but you took on the role as a manager of the online website to keep the students at Emerald Ridge better informed. It shows that you know what students need and what communication devices they will use.

“These experiences show that you embrace journalism in all forms and will surely prepare you for a successful and satisfying career in media. Good luck at the Puyallup Post this summer. They are lucky to have you.

“It is clear that you love journalism and that your adviser appreciates you not only for your talent and contributions, but for your leadership. You are to be commended for all the effort it took to compile your portfolio and put it online for review. It clearly demonstrates that you have a variety of journalism examples in your collection and that you enjoy the creative process.

“At the WJEA state conference on March 21, the WJEA Journalist of the Year, Nick Fiorillo of Mountlake Terrace High School, will be introduced. His portfolio has been sent to the JEA committee for review for the national journalist of the year competition.

“Once again, thank you for submitting your portfolio for review. You have made a positive difference in the lives of the students at Emerald Ridge High School and the staff of the JagWire.

“Sincerely, Joy Lessard, WJEA”


Author: Chase Charaba

Hello there! I'm Chase, an ambitious, aspiring young novelist and YouTuber who hopes to get a novel published one day. I'm also trying to produce the highest quality YouTube videos by constantly learning new ways to film and edit. I've been involved in journalism for 5 years, including 1 year as co-editor of a national award-winning high school newsmagazine and 1 year as the co-editor of an award-winning college newspaper. I write mainly epic/high fantasy, but I also mess around with science fiction, horror, and realistic fiction.

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