The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program announced that Lauren McCracken, a T.C. Williams High School senior and managing director of the student newspaper, Theogony, will receive the Young Journalist Leadership award in recognition of her significant achievements and contributions to high school journalism. A selection committee consisting of mentors and reporters from The Washington Post chose four area students to receive the newspaper’s YJDP Awards. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Wednesday, May 16.
“Lauren has distinguished herself with her thoughtfulness and her reliability. From her sophomore and through her senior year she has consistently written articles of depth and substance,” said T.C. Williams English Department Chair and Theogony Adviser Mark R. Eaton, in nominating Lauren for the award. “Lauren consistently exercises good judgment and excellent writing and editing skills in the production of the paper.”
As the newspaper’s managing director, the equivalent of editor-in-chief, Lauren “has inspired and led the younger members of the Theogony staff to produce a paper that is more extensive, and more polished, than anything published in recent years,” Eaton said. “She is among the most professional of all our student journalists. Lauren is not afraid to address difficult questions to persons in authority. Her editing, photography and writing skills are all of the first order.”
Lauren, who held a 4.857 grade point average at the end of second quarter, has been on the Honor Roll every year since sixth grade and is a member of the National Honor Society. Her challenging academic schedule has included numerous Advanced Placement and honors courses. Her extracurricular activities at T.C. Williams include Red Cross Club, Key Club, the French National Honor society and French Club, of which she is a founder and president. Lauren is also a leader on the T.C. Williams varsity softball team and a volunteer at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
She attended the prestigious Virginia Governor's French Foreign Language Academy last summer and also attended J-Camp at Virginia Tech, where she enhanced her already formidable skills as a journalist. Lauren plans to study journalism or political science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
“Strong high school journalism programs yield college journalists who go on to staff newsrooms across the country. Along with promoting excellence in journalism, these awards were launched to focus attention on students and advisers who have contributed to the growth and quality of scholastic journalism,” said Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli. “We applaud these individuals and wish them continued success.”
Winners will receive automatic acceptance into select 2012-13 YJDP programs, mentoring opportunities with Post reporters and members of the editorial board, framed certificates and personalized trophies. The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program provides year-round skills training workshops, seminars, scholarships and mentoring opportunities to high school journalists and advisers across the Washington area.