Scholarships in hand, Daniel Pearl Magnet students ready for Convention

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

When your school specializes in journalism, it seems like a safe bet there will be a group attending the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention this month in San Francisco.

That’s certainly the case for the yearbook and newspaper students from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Van Nuys, Calif., but it’s not quite that easy. According to adviser Adriana Chavira, any student who wants to attend a convention still has to raise the money.

“Our school is focused on journalism and communications. We try to get the students to participate in activities like contests and conventions. But we still have to fund-raise to do it,” said Chavira. “We try to see where we can help the students out.”

Three Daniel Pearl students – Elsy Barcelo, Carlos Godoy and Ana Perez – will get to attend this month’s JEA/NSPA convention in San Francisco thanks in part to Walsworth’s 50 Scholars program. Walsworth is working with NSPA and JEA to pay the registration fees for 50 scholarship winners.

Barcelo, Godoy and Perez were all selected as scholarship winners after providing a written essay explaining why they wanted to attend. Now, they’re each looking forward to the learning experiences that await them on the trip.

“I think the critique is what I’m looking forward to the most,” said Perez, a photographer on the Daniel Pearl yearbook and newspaper staff. “I want to know what they like about my pictures and what I need to improve on.”

For Barcelo, who is in his second year on the newspaper staff, this will actually be his second JEA/NSPA Convention. Barcelo was with the group from Daniel Pearl that went to Seattle last spring, and he remembers how beneficial it was to staff morale.

“We enjoyed it. We were always together,” said Barcelo. “We knew more about each other after that trip, whereas back here in the newsroom we didn’t even always talk that much.”

Evan Blackwell, CJE
Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.