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One Moment Please... Congratulations Abigail Hanson

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I would like to be the first to publicly congratulate Abigail Hanson, a senior at Mabel-Canton High School, for being selected as the recipient of the 2014 Journal StudentWriting Project Scholarship. Since 2010, the Fillmore County Journal has contributed a combined $2,500 to the collegiate aspirations of Abby Stocker (Lanesboro), Kevin O’Donnell (Rushford-Peterson), Jennifer Quanrud (Fillmore Central), Mitchell Walbridge (Lanesboro), and Cody Hendrickson (Fillmore Central). Each of these graduates has received $500 from the Journal to use toward their college education.

This scholarship opportunity is easily narrowed to a select few because only those who participate in the annual Journal Student Writing Project are eligible and may apply for the scholarship.

Journal Student Writing Project

Now in its fifteenth year, we worked with eight students from area schools this year. We always encourage participation from the English departments of all area schools, since this presents an opportunity for students to learn how to relate to audiences while expressing their opinions. In a way, the Journal Student Writing Project is an education itself -- monitored by a panel of over 24,000 print readers and endless online readers.

What we say in print has more staying power than what gets shared on the Internet (even on Facebook!), and it always comes with greater responsibility. Ultimately, print journalism is held more accountable than most other media; especially online.

The participants of the Journal Student Writing Project are often wearing their opinions on their sleeves and putting themselves out there in front of critics abound. But, this boldness and thoughtful approach takes courage, and this is what all of us need to consider when expressing our opinions. Many people will never write a Letter to the Editor, while a select few will write many. When we broadcast our messages, we need to realize the significance. What we say matters. All of us. But, we also need to realize that it defines us in the eyes of our observers. How do we want to be perceived?

Hopefully, this year’s group of Journal Student Writing Project participants experienced feedback from what they shared in the pages of this newspaper. Whether friends, family, teachers, or a complete stranger, hopefully someone gave them some food for thought or encouragement.

If you will be a senior in the next school year at a high school in our circulation area, please keep your eyes open for the Journal Student Writing Project scholarship opportunity. Usually, we begin promoting the program in August of each year.

This Year’s Recipient

Abigail Hanson was selected as this year’s recipient of the $500 scholarship for a number of reasons. She’s very involved in her community and her school. She plays basketball and softball, while also playing in the band. In addition, she is a big supporter, leader and participant of the Mabel-Canton Future Farmers of America. Lastly, she participates in the Cougar Mentors program.

Included in today’s Journal is a copy of her column submitted with her application that answers the question “How is my community unique?” This is a must read, as it relates to all of us in some way.

After graduating from Mabel-Canton High School, she is interested in pursuing an education in Culinary Arts and Hotel Restaurant Management.

Again, congratulations to Abigail Hanson! We look forward to keeping in touch with you as you enter the next phase of your life.

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