This year, three Valley News interns shared the 2014 Dr. Brown Scholarship for Outstanding Journalism Intern: Hannah Whitley from Elsinore High School and Shayan Vahdati and Andrea Henthorn from Great Oak High School.
The three were part of the Valley News high school intern program that provides aspiring journalism students opportunities to learn and grow as they cover, write (and sometimes photograph) articles for the local community paper and specialty magazines.
These articles included local events, sports, and special features. The three students distinguished themselves among their peers with their style, professionalism, and dedication.
Hannah Whitley, Elsinore High School (3.6 GPA)
“When I first began my senior year at Elsinore High School, I had little semblance of what schools to apply to and how I would get there. My life was riddled with the stress that was associated with moving out on my own as a high school senior, completing AP and Honors assignments, acting as cheer captain, and working nearly five days a week to pay bills and rent.
“In retrospect, my internship at Valley News was the only sense of normalcy and release in my life. Reporting on developments in and surrounding my community provided the necessary complements and skills to make my life easier with each report. The cold autumn nights that once only held the prospect of supporting the players on the field, now harbored a canvas for my own journalistic passions and exhibitions. It is directly because of this internship that I had the motivation to win numerous Scholar Athlete awards, my RIMS AVID scholarship, and the passion to further pursue my education at University of California, Irvine with a focus in Journalistic Studies.
“I have also come to find that it is not my 3.6 GPA, my scholastic achievements, or even love of cheer that defines me, but rather it is the work that I started here, in this community, that will be the persevering aspect of what my future holds.”
Shayan Vahdati, Great Oak High School (4.17 GPA)
“This internship was such an honor. I have met some amazing people with whom I hope to stay in contact for a long time. I was exposed to the ‘real world’ and all the responsibilities that came with it, such as deadlines and interviews.
“I learned more about myself as a writer and my hopes for the future – I hope to go into sports journalism at some point. I cannot thank the people at the Valley News enough for all they’ve taught me over the past two years. Also, thank you to Dr. Brown for the generous scholarship.
“I will also be taking my Valley News hat with me to San Jose State where I will be majoring in athletic training and minoring in journalism!”
Andrea Henthorn, Great Oak High School (4.86 GPA, full IB Diploma)
“My internship with the Valley News was valuable because it gave me a broader sense of experience with communication. I was in my high school journalism class for three years – this year as Editor-in-Chief.
“We generally interview and cover events that involve young people and are very specific to Great Oak; working for the local paper allowed me to engage with people outside of that specific realm and I believe become a stronger and more diverse writer.
“Also, getting the chance to work with the other interns and editors was very supportive. I will be attending UCLA as a Regents Scholar, majoring in English and potentially communications.”
This is the second year that Dr. K. Pat Brown – a local dentist and Class of 1979 Elsinore graduate – has provided the journalism scholarship. Last year’s recipient, Meghan Bernhard is a journalism major at Harvard.
Valley News extends its heartfelt thanks to our interns for their valuable contributions and congratulations to these deserving students.
Aspiring high school journalists – reporters, writers, photographers, videographers, digital media producers – are encouraged to contact Valley News and to apply for internship positions for the upcoming year. We hope to have interns at every high school in our coverage as the main liaison for their school. Please send an e-mail to Stephanie C. Ocano at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest, cover letter and/or resume.