By Albert Leung, Staff WriterTwin Cities high school senior Hailey Lee was recently named one this year’s top Minnesota journalism high school senior by the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award. The award is sponsored by the Freedom Forum and annually recognizes the country’s top high school journalism seniors in each state.
As part of the award, Lee will receive a US$1,000 college scholarship and will travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the journalism conference where she will compete with fellow award winners across the country for a US$50,000 college scholarship.
As a student at Edina High School, Lee, 18, devoted much time in honing her journalism skill by writing for numerous publications and organizations including her school’s newspaper Zephyrus, the Asian Pages, the newsletter for the anti-human trafficking organization Not For Sale and online magazine Jazmin.
“One of the most memorable stories I covered was an anti-human trafficking awareness event at Edina High School where I met and interviewed Richard Lui, CNN Headline News anchor and reporter, about his efforts in anti-human trafficking and spreading awareness,” Lee said.
As a faithful activist, Lee hopes to one day become an anchorwoman and work in investigative journalism much like her role models ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and Richard Lui. Lee believes this will allow her to fuse both passions in activism and journalism.
“That is why I love journalism. I can utilize my writing to spread awareness about social issues that the public deserves to know about,” Lee said.
The aspiring journalist is still deciding which college to attend but plans to study journalism and international relations. Lee is also very interested in becoming involved in the international and political arena.
Besides her knack in journalism, Lee has also shown her talents in playwriting. She recently wrote and directed a play about human trafficking called Vanished, which debuted at the Edina Performing Arts Center in early March.