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LET’S GET IT STARTED Olivia Hopwood, a freshman at Episcopal High School, helped start a newspaper during middle school at River Oaks Baptist School.
When my eighth-grade year was around the corner, all I could think about was when I was going to see my friends, who my new teachers would be, and if (just maybe) the lunch food would be better this year. My priorities then were short lasting, none of them having a serious impact on my current life. However, when I began my final year of middle school, I started focusing less on what I could do for me and more on what I could do for my school. I wanted to make a difference. Not the kind where my family, friends and teachers walked me through it, but the kind I could complete on my own.
I had to hone in on what I was interested in, and what could be beneficial. I researched until I stumbled upon the idea of making a newspaper. It incorporated writing (a favorite hobby) and the reality that our school’s paper had not been up and running for years. I spoke with the head of school, who spoke with the principal, who spoke with the board, who in turn spoke with probably lines and lines of coordinators.
When I received the good news that my newspaper idea had been accepted, I thought things would be easier than they were. I had pictured the perfect newspaper, completed in color with Wall Street Journal-worthy articles. I was wrong. From this point of realization, I hit a low. I started to doubt my capability due to my age. Maybe I was too young for this commitment. Maybe this was a mistake.
After weeks of hard work, I overcame obstacles and persevered. It turned out teachers and students were glad to help out with my project. Seeing the paper being passed out, the smiles on kids’ faces and teacher and parent enjoyment made the struggle worth it. We ended up developing a staff, and I’ve heard the ROBS newspaper, The Raider Review, still exists. This year I’m on the staff of The Knight Times at Episcopal High School, and I’m the only freshman girl on the staff.
If there’s one thing I learned throughout this experience, it’s that success isn’t something that happens overnight. Also, making a difference is something that anybody of any age can be a part of!
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