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Jennifer VereeckenJennifer Vereecken, a senior at Byron-Bergen High School, recently participated in a live-taping of C-SPAN's Washington Journal as a correspondent for the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.

The keynote speaker for the conference was Hoda Kotb, NBC "Today" show co-host and Dateline NBC correspondent.

“My favorite part of the experience was listening to Hoda Kotb’s keynote speech,” said Jennifer. “She was powerful and real. She said to be yourself and no matter how many times you fail – she said she failed more than 20 times – you just keep trying for something you really want and it will happen.”

Conference experts recommended that when going into the journalism field, students should consider diversity. Jennifer said she plans to diversify her journalism education in college by concentrating in the areas of sociology or science. She has plans to become a photojournalist after college, due to her love of National Geographic magazine.

Only a few rising high school seniors were selected as National Youth Correspondents for the program. Correspondents were selected or nominated based on academic excellence (minimum 3.5 GPA), have demonstrated leadership and an interest in journalism.

PHOTO: Jennifer Vereecken, submitted photo


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