FHN Senior Emily Hood Named the 2020 JEA National High School Student Journalist of the Year

Posted on 04/23/2020
Emily Hood speaks with an individual


On Feb. 24, FHN senior Emily Hood walked into her journalism classroom to find a room full of students, teachers, and Superintendent Dr. Hendricks-Harris, all gathered together to celebrate her big achievement. She had just been named the
2020 Journalism Education Association (JEA) Student Journalist of the Year for Missouri. Two months later, on Apr. 18, many of those same individuals gathered again (virtually) to witness their FHNtodayTV executive producer recognized across the country as the 2020 National High School Student Journalist of the Year on the JEA’s Facebook Live platform. The FHN journalist was also profiled in a story on KTVI-TV.

Emily Hood holds camera as she takes picturesHood didn’t always plan to be a journalist. As a freshman, she was set on becoming a photographer and planned to take photos for the school yearbook. The universe had something different in mind, though. That semester Hood signed up to take a photography class. However, there was a mix-up in her schedule, and she was placed in a broadcast journalism class instead. Despite the switch, Hood decided to stick with the class, and as a result, found her new passion.

Since then, Hood has played a critical role in transforming the broadcast program at FHN into what it is today. “She penned one of the best-written series to ever come from this room, and she constantly worked to help those around her grow,” said FHN Director of Student Media Aaron Manfull. “It’s great watching her work, and it is so nice to see the pats on the back she is getting for a job well done.”

Along with the national recognition, Hood received a $3,000 scholarship for her work and dedication to her school’s journalism program. “As great as it is to be recognized with this award, I think it really is a testament to our program and the culture that FHN Publications has created,” said Hood. She gives credit to her teachers, the FHN administrators, and past editors who have helped her along the way by providing feedback and support.

Emily Hood records an episode of the Hood Report

While Hood was unable to receive the award in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was honored that many of the individuals that supported her, including FHN Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler, could celebrate her national recognition together on a Zoom call that evening. “It really meant a lot to have those people with me at that moment and hear something that is really kind of an award for all of us,” expressed Hood. Since the award ceremony is usually made at the annual conference, the virtual announcement was a chance to share with her friends and family who would not normally have been in attendance.

As Hood heads off to the University of Missouri next year to continue her journalism education, she has a bright future ahead. She will begin a new adventure and new classes, but she can always count on the universe to make sure she is right where she is supposed to be. Congratulations, Emily!

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