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News Community FHS student nominated to be National Youth Correspondent

Jessie Palmerat prestigious conference at George Mason University

Jessie Palmer, a sophomore at Franklin High School, has been nominated to represent North Carolina as a National Youth Correspondent to the 2012 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.

Palmer has been awarded the opportunity to join a select group of 250 students from across the country to participate in an intensive week-long study of journalism and media. Palmer was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in journalism and media studies.

The student submitted an essay about the Arnold amendment, a proposed Constitutional amendment that would allow naturalized citizens to become President of the United States. Presently, only native born Americans can legally run for the position of Commander in Chief. An effort to amend the Constitutional Clause which prohibits naturalized citizens from seeking the highest office in the world was pushed forward in 2004, but the idea never made it anywhere. The amendment was named after former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian native.

Nevertheless, in her civics course instructed by county commissioner Bob Kuppers, Palmer wrote an essay supporting the amendment, which ultimately led to her nomination for this prestigious program. She learned of her acceptance into the program last month. “I never really thought I was a great writer, but this is a great opportunity and I’m really excited about it,” said Palmer. “Only 200 students in America get to go, so it is a huge honor and I’m looking forward to it. “They keep sending me more and more stuff about the conference, which just gets me even more excited about it. I never really thought I would actually get accepted, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try and here I am,” she said.

The program will cost Palmer $2,000 to attend, and she hopes to pull together local resources to attain the funds to participate in the weeklong event in Fairfax, Virginia. “It is a lot of money, but I think if I can reach out to the school board and other people in the community for sponsorships. I will make this happen,” Palmer said. “I was thinking about taking journalism next year, but I don’t know what exactly I want to do yet, but it’s definitely something I am looking forward to, so I don’t want the cost to hold me back,” she said.

Although she is not a student of journalism per se, Palmer’s interest in the program is rather expansive. She believes, rightfully so, that the program could open many doors for her in the future when it comes to thinking about applying for colleges.

National Youth Correspondents participate in hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media. The experiential portion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the media community. Presenters include prominent journalists, CEO’s of major media outlets, researchers, and recent college graduates successfully entering the field. Last year’s conference included Hoda Kotb, Chuck Todd, Ann Kornblut, and Jessica Yellin.

With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Journalism and Media conference offers aspiring journalists an unparalleled experience. The week-long program, held at George Mason University’s state-of-the-art campus, encourages and inspires young leaders from across the country who desire a unique experience focused on successful careers in this dynamic industry.

The Washington Journalism and Media Conference will be held July 8-July 13, 2012.

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia minutes from Washington, D.C., Mason provides access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. In addition to environmental science and policy, Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University — Where Innovation Is Tradition.

The Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) is a unique student leadership conference designed to develop and encourage future leaders in the changing face of media in the 21st century. The Advisory Board, Chaired by Newseum senior vice president, Susan Bennett, includes CEO’s of media, distinguished journalists and renowned authors and university faculty.


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