Report for America celebrates first Student Journalism Awards


Watch the full video of the event here.

Report for America recognized the work of young student journalists across the country during its inaugural Student Journalism Awards ceremony, held virtually on April 11. Entries came from youth being mentored by Report for America corps members who, as a result of our national service mission, volunteer their time in the community where they work. 

The primary goal of these service projects is to support the media literacy of young people across the U.S. by helping them produce stories about the world around them. 

“Today, we celebrate those projects, but most importantly, we celebrate the amazing collaboration between students and corps members,” Denise Tejada, service projects manager, said. “Since June, corps members have worked with more than 2,800 students. In total, corps members have input over 37,000 hours spent on projects serving nearly 13,000 students.”

Find the full list of winners below. We thank the Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts for their generous support.

Report for America Student Journalism Awards

Best News Story: Reporting of a single story that demonstrates the student’s ability to inform the public about a complex and important topic. A winning story should be newsworthy, include multiple sources and be written and structured in a way that is easy for the reader to follow. 

1st: Jaslie Fang | Corps member: Tiana Woodard (Boston, Massachusetts) 

2nd: Aaliyah Leon | Corps member: Victoria Franco

3rd: Student: Evelin Ortiz-Muñoz | Corps member: Claudia Rivera Cotto

Best Feature Story: A long-form non-fiction story that covers a single topic in detail. A winning story should demonstrate a student’s storytelling ability and be written and structured in a way that is easy for the reader to follow. It should capture a reader’s attention and illuminate the topic.  

1st: Carolyn Taveras & Ramata Taveras | Corps member: Arabella Saunders (New York City, NY)

2nd: Mia Matias | Corps member: Claire Savage

3rd: Jaslie Fang | Corps member: Tiana Woodard

Best Profile: A story that demonstrates a student’s ability to portray someone of interest to the audience. A winning profile should show the reader something unexpected or illuminating about the person profiled. A winning story should be descriptive, with great use of interview(s).

1st: Gavin Hunt | Corps member: Riley Board (Kenai, Alaska)

2nd: Hadjar Yousfi | Corps member: Tiana Woodard

3rd: Javier Castellanos | Corps member: Victoria Franco

Best Enterprise Story: An in-depth story that is not based on news or a press release, but rather generated based on the reporters’ sources. A winning enterprise story should not only report facts but help readers understand the significance. It should demonstrate strong writing and sourcing.

1st: Audrey Noguera | Corps member: Hannah Gross (Maplewood, NJ) 

2nd: Phillip Scottie Wade | Corps member: Mariah Thomas

3rd: Riddhem Kapoor | Corps member: Claire Savage

Best Editorial/Opinion Piece: A piece that includes the author’s own opinion. It may or may not include additional reporting and interviews. A winning editorial/opinion piece should be clear, and engaging and provide a compelling argument or perspective. 

1st: Luisa Sanchez Almenarez | Corps member: Conor Griffin (Louisville, Kentucky)

2nd: Autumn Fassee | Corps member: Gabriella Szymanowska

3rd: Meah Hird | Corps member: Gabriella Szymanowska

Best Audio Story: An audio story that shows a student’s storytelling ability. Great audio pieces make the audience feel immersed in the story. A winning audio story should be engaging, make good use of sound such as scenes and interviews, and be easy for listeners to understand. 

1st: Kailash Mishra | Corps member: Peter Gill (Columbus, Ohio)

2nd: Ashlisha Sharma Parsai | Corps member: Peter Gill

3rd: Gavin Hunt | Corps member: Riley Board

Best Photo: A single photo used to illustrate a topic, can be a single photo from a photo series or a photo that accompanies a written story. A winning photo should not only be composed well, it should tell a story with the information it conveys. 

1st: Sabrina Krupenko (Sabrina’s photo is part of a larger story. Read here). | Corps member: Claudia Rivera Cotto (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

2nd: Jessica Li | Corps member: Tiana Woodard

3rd: Melina Sandoval | Corps member: Claire Savage

About Report for America

Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities across the United States and its territories. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.