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Penn State Berks Hosts Annual PA Student Journalism Competition

Berks alumna Ja’nique Jules, assistant with the U.S. House of Representatives, gives keynote.

Nov 17, 2023

by Penn State Berks

Photo courtesy of Samantha Bower

Local high school students sharpened their journalism skills at the annual Pennsylvania Student Journalism Competition, hosted by Penn State Berks on Nov. 8. The event is organized by the Pennsylvania School Press Association and sponsored by the Penn State Berks writing and digital media program.

The highlight of the event was the keynote speech from Ja’nique Jules, a 2022 Penn State Berks alumna with degrees in both writing and digital media and in politics, along with a Spanish minor. Currently, Jules is employed as a staff assistant with the U.S. Rep. Jim Himes. She discussed what it’s like to work in politics and how she knew she wanted to enter the political arena.

“So, which path do I follow? Do I become a sports reporter, or do I work in politics? After the death of George Floyd, I knew where my place was. I needed to make a difference in this world,” Jules shared with the audience.

She went on to encourage high schoolers to pursue their passions. “Don’t be afraid to follow the path where your life takes you. Don’t get upset if things don’t go as planned because you might be surprised where the current will take you.”

High school students also had an opportunity to participate in two sessions of various writing competitions, including broadcast, literary magazine, newspaper, and yearbook. In between sessions, the Penn State Berks Lion Ambassadors provided a tour of campus to the students and their advisers.

Today’s professionals need to be adept at creating print-based and electronic forms of writing. The bachelor of arts degree in writing and digital media prepares students to write and communicate effectively in a variety of workplace and academic settings and the ability to communicate in a range of genres, including traditional media as well as digital and multimedia.

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