Freshman Wins Emerging Young Journalist of the Year

Frankie Wilson, Staff Writer

At the opening ceremony of the Florida Scholastic Press Association State Convention freshman Isabel Hanewicz was awarded as the Emerging Young Journalist of the Year. Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, this award honored a freshmen or sophomore in Florida who demonstrated journalistic promise.

In order to apply, Hanewicz had to turn in an online application and portfolio.

“I had to submit five works. I chose stories that I wrote. I also had to submit a letter of recommendation from my advisor and editor along with a resume and a personal reflection,” she said.

Out of the pool of applicants, only four finalists were chosen. Hanewicz admitted that the beginning of the process was the most nerve wracking for her.

“I was much more nervous to find out if I was one of the four finalists because I had no idea how many people there were to begin with and what the level of competition was. When I found out that I was one of the finalists, I was really only nervous when the award began to be announced at the opening ceremony.”

When she was announced as the winner, Hanewicz said she was ecstatic.

Wayne Garcia, a USF professor and member of the FSPA board, announced the winner. When Hanewicz’s name was called she made her way up to the large stage in front of the 1,300 young journalism students and claimed her award.

“Once I knew I was a finalist, I knew that I at least had a 25% chance of winning,” she said. “But I was still pretty nervous when he came onto the stage, because I had no idea what kind of work the other applicants had done compared to mine.”

Hanewicz is an extremely dedicated individual, balancing the IB program, track, cross country, and of course journalism. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and is on the varsity track and cross country teams, and at the same time spends much of her time to journalism, mostly by writing stories.

“It seems like a lot to balance, but it isn’t as hard as it may seem because I really enjoy everything that I do,” said Hanewicz. “I love both running and journalism, so I’m happy to dedicate extra time to them in order to excel.”