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The Riverhawk Review

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Riverhawk Review reporter, Tayhia Hoskin, to represent Idaho at D.C. conference

Riverhawk+Review+reporter%2C+Tayhia+Hoskin%2C+to+represent+Idaho+at+D.C.+conference

Tayhia Hoskin, a staff reporter for The Riverhawk Review, the Canyon Ridge High School newspaper, has been selected to represent Idaho for the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference this June in Washington D.C. The students accepted into the program earn an all-expenses-paid trip to D.C. and a $1,000 scholarship to any college of their choice.

“It feels unreal,” said Hoskin, “my brain is still denying the fact that it’s real. It’s something that makes me really proud though.”

The Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference is for juniors in high school all around the country interested in journalism. Neuharth founded USA TODAY on September 15, 1982, when the newspaper industry was beginning to decline in readership, according to FreedomForum.org. The Freedom Forum program is also a “nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy.” The Al Neuharth program began in 1999 to honor Neuharth.

According to Wikipedia.org, “Neuharth and fellow USD alum Bill Porter founded SoDak Sports, a weekly newspaper devoted to covering the sports scene in South Dakota. Despite its initial popularity, the weekly SoDak Sports went bankrupt in a year’s time, losing Neuharth the $50,000 he had borrowed.” Neuharth died on April 19, 2013.

According to the Al Neuharth conference website, “The conference is designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism. Today there are more than 1,500 “Free Spirits” including journalists working for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, ESPN, and network-affiliated TV stations.”

Mr. Dustin Henkelmann, an English teacher at CRHS, is the teacher who encouraged her to apply for the Al Neuharth Conference and one of the two teachers who wrote Tayhia a letter of recommendation for her application. When asked why he encouraged her to apply, Henkelmann said, “Tayhia exemplifies the ideal journalist. That’s why I wanted her to apply for the Al Neuharth conference,” Henkelmann continued, “She’s tenacious, fair, a good writer, and she cares about words and how they affect people. I’m honored she’s been on The Riverhawk Review for two years, and I’m exceedingly proud that she’s representing Idaho’s student journalists. Tayhia almost saw a grown man cry when she told me she was accepted.”

“The best way to describe the feeling of this experience is as if it is an achievement in a video game,” said Hoskin, “Not to discard it from how amazing it is, but I mean a metaphor for the feeling of something that seems so unachievable and so unrealistic suddenly being possible at a time and place so random to someone who had never expected it to happen when they applied. [But] now, [I’m] left with all these questions [about the conference] with nothing to do but wait. It’s eating at my brain—just like playing a video game.”

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About the Contributor
Moraya Munoz
Moraya Munoz, Staff Reporter
I am a staff reporter for our school's newspaper, the Riverhawk Review. I am a junior and this is my first year on the newspaper. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of a team that helps inform the people of CRHS and Magic Valley! A bit about me; My name is pronounced like more-EYE-uh, I also go by Cloud, I love watching movies, writing, singing, fashion, and, of course, all things spooky!

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    Lisa SchrockMay 10, 2024 at 8:45 am

    Such an amazing student and young lady! You are going to be awesome!!!

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