Quality Can Be a Good Thing if Backed Up by Quantiful Quality

By: Lynda Lopez

In the fall of 2006, I was merely an incoming freshman. I still did not know my place among Prosser Career Academy. However, I did know that I wanted to join the Academic Decathlon team at my school. Within two weeks of starting school, I had established my place among the Acadecathletes at my school because of my avid interest in learning on an academic team.

As a recently graduated senior, I can honestly say that my time in high school was successful because of my enthusiasm for each and every one of my activities. Just like when I joined Academic Decathlon, I retained the same excitement when I joined the Book Club, Math Team and Poetry Club. My first two years of high school were largely dominated by experimentation among many clubs at my school. I was ecstatic about getting to know the atmospheres at the different clubs at my school. I did not have college admissions in mind when I joined each of the clubs.

After two years of playing the activity field, I found my calling. In the summer before my junior year, I was hired to write for the Chicago Tribune’s new weekly high school newspaper. For the next two years, I avidly wrote articles for the paper. From cover stories to movie reviews, nothing was too difficult to write and report about. In just a few months, I had become a bone fide reporter. In the months that followed, I started to pursue publication in various other organizations. I have written for places such as PBS, Alliance for Climate Education, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, New York Times, among others. I had found my niche among the publications around the city and I was loving it!

When it finally came to apply for college, my love for journalism helped me stand out among the rest of the pack. On December 1st, 2009, I received notice that I was a recipient of a Questbridge Scholarship to the University of Chicago.

It was not only my love for journalism that helped me stand out. It was my keen understanding of what sort of essays are able to tug at the heartstrings of people. It was my strong connection with the minds of what people like to read that led me to my dual acceptance and scholarships.

As I move on to college, I can wholeheartedly say that learning how to be a good writer, along with paying close attention to detail when filling out an application helped me when applying to college. Each person learns differently. I can only hope that you find your niche among the activities that you try.

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From the Say What Editorial Board

“We, the writers, editors and artists of Say What Magazine, believe that young people are the only ones who can tell their own stories and that each of us has that ability from birth. Say What creates opportunities for young people to ‘use their words’ to speak out, spark dialogue, question, create beauty and effect change.”
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