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51 High School Seniors From Across The U.S. Attending Washington Journalism Conference

2012 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholars Announced

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Fifty-one high school journalists, representing every state and the District of Columbia, will explore the First Amendment and the watchdog role of a free press when they attend the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, July 14 to 19, at the Newseum.

The Freedom Forum, the Newseum's parent organization, directs this annual academic and scholarship program to inspire and equip some of the nation's best and brightest students to pursue journalism and media careers. The high school seniors, chosen from hundreds of applicants, attend the conference for free and all receive $1,000 college scholarships.

The Freedom Forum joined with the Journalism Education Association, high school journalism teachers and news organizations throughout the country to promote the program. Applicants were required to submit work samples, letters of reference, a transcript and essays about their interest in journalism and their free spirit qualities. The class of 20 boys and 31 girls reflects the multicultural diversity of the United States. Twenty-one of the students are from diverse backgrounds including African American, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian and Middle Eastern.

Through presentations, classes and experiences at the Newseum and elsewhere in Washington, the students will learn about the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy and the vital role of a free and responsible press. Students will study the three branches of government and how journalists cover them.

Students will visit the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the headquarters of USA TODAY. They will attend a National Press Club luncheon program about the "State of the First Amendment." They will participate in a courtroom simulation with U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell and watch a taping of NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory.

Fifty presenters are on the schedule, including Bob Schieffer of CBS News, Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour, Susan Page of USA TODAY, Carl Leubsdorf of The Dallas Morning News, First Amendment Center founder John Seigenthaler, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sara Ganim, Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte, U.S. Sen. John Thune, former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Senate Historian Donald Ritchie and White House Deputy Press Secretary Jamie Smith.

The Al Neuharth Free Spirit program recognizes top high school journalists who also are free spirits. The awards were established by the Freedom Forum to honor Al Neuharth, founder of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and USA TODAY.

The Freedom Forum, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on three priorities: the Newseum, the First Amendment and newsroom diversity.

The Freedom Forum is the main funder of the operations of the Newseum, an interactive museum of news in Washington, D.C.; the First Amendment Center; and the Diversity Institute. The First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute are housed in the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The First Amendment Center also has offices in Washington, and the Diversity Institute has offices and programs at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The Freedom Forum was established in 1991 under the direction of Founder Al Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A complete list of the 51 students is below and will be available at www.freespirit.org/2012recipients.

JASON FROST
SPARKMAN HIGH SCHOOL
HARVEST, ALABAMA

CHARLES KLEIN
KETCHIKAN HIGH SCHOOL
KETCHIKAN, ALASKA

TABITHA REES
LAKE HAVASU HIGH SCHOOL
LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA

RACHEL WILBOURN
LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

HAEEUN JEE
GROVER CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL
RESEDA, CALIFORNIA

CHARLES LIGHT
MONARCH HIGH SCHOOL
LOUISVILLE, COLORADO

ANGELINA DEROSA
NAUGATUCK HIGH SCHOOL
NAUGATUCK, CONNECTICUT

ARMONTE' BUTLER
BENJAMIN BANNEKER ACADEMIC HIGH SCHOOL
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

ANNE MCDONOUGH
WILMINGTON FRIENDS SCHOOL
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE

RACHEL SHARPE
COOPER CITY HIGH SCHOOL
COOPER CITY, FLORIDA

DORY JULIA MACMILLAN
CLARKE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
ATHENS, GEORGIA

MAILE GREENHILL
IOLANI SCHOOL
HONOLULU, HAWAII

RACHEL GOODMAN
MOUNTAIN HOME SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
MOUNTAIN HOME, IDAHO

MICHAEL GEHEREN
HUNTLEY HIGH SCHOOL
HUNTLEY, ILLINOIS

NEHA RAMANI
WEST LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA

ASHTON DUNCAN
WEST HIGH SCHOOL
IOWA CITY, IOWA

JOSEPH VOSBURGH
TOPEKA HIGH SCHOOL
TOPEKA, KANSAS

JESSICA SPROLES
CORBIN HIGH SCHOOL
CORBIN, KENTUCKY

SPENCER WATSON
UNITED WORLD COLLEGE IN MOSTAR
MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
PRAIRIEVILLE, LOUISIANA

AMBER PERKINS
BIDDEFORD HIGH SCHOOL
BIDDEFORD, MAINE

MICHELLE CHAVEZ
MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

JOON-YEOP LEE
BROOKLINE HIGH SCHOOL
BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS

KATHLEEN DAVIS
ERNEST W. SEAHOLM HIGH SCHOOL
BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN

DAVID LIU
MOUNDS VIEW HIGH SCHOOL
ARDEN HILLS, MINNESOTA

LEAH GIBSON
STARKVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI

MARLEE COX
MEHLVILLE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI

JORDAN PURINTON
GREAT FALLS HIGH SCHOOL
GREAT FALLS, MONTANA

JACK TURMAN III
PAPILLION-LA VISTA SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
PAPILLION, NEBRASKA

NATHAN RUIZ
EARL WOOSTER HIGH SCHOOL
RENO, NEVADA

STEPHEN WONG
LONDONDERRY HIGH SCHOOL
LONDONDERRY, NEW HAMPSHIRE

MICHAEL DESOCIO
COMMUNICATIONS HIGH SCHOOL
WALL, NEW JERSEY

RACHEL ROTH
SANDIA PREPARATORY SCHOOL
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

SIJIN CHOI
BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO
BAYSIDE, NEW YORK

LOGAN ULRICH
SOUTH IREDELL HIGH SCHOOL
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

JAURDYN GILLISS
WEST FARGO HIGH SCHOOL
WEST FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA

SALLEE ANN RUIBAL
WYOMING HIGH SCHOOL
CINCINNATI, OHIO

MICHAELA PARKER
BISHOP MCGUINNESS
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

MARY RUIZ
TUALATIN HIGH SCHOOL
TUALATIN, OREGON

MOLLY ZWIEBEL
POTTSVILLE AREA HIGH SCHOOL
POTTSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

MARY COTTER
SOUTH KINGSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
WAKEFIELD, RHODE ISLAND

OLIVIA NELSON
LUGOFF-ELGIN HIGH SCHOOL
LUGOFF, SOUTH CAROLINA

KADEN GREENFIELD
LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA

FRANK LYLES
HUME-FOGG ACADEMIC HIGH SCHOOL
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

TALIA RICHMAN
RICHARDSON HIGH SCHOOL
RICHARDSON, TEXAS

MARY RICE
GRAND COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
MOAB, UTAH

RIYA PATEL
SOUTH BURLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
SOUTH BURLINGTON, VERMONT

AIMEE CHO
LANGLEY HIGH SCHOOL
MCLEAN, VIRGINIA

ANHVIET NGUYEN
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE HIGH SCHOOL
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WASHINGTON

AMY NAPIER
WAYNE HIGH SCHOOL
WAYNE, WEST VIRGINIA

MOLLIE COOK
HOMESTEAD HIGH SCHOOL
MEQUON, WISCONSIN

ANTHONY PROSCENO
CODY HIGH SCHOOL
CODY, WYOMING

SOURCE Freedom Forum

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