Former NeXt correspondents Jen Aronoff, Kelsey Burch, Rochelle White and Janet Bossard have won awards for articles they wrote for NeXt in the Youth Editors of America Association's 2001 competition for youth newspapers from around the country.
Jen and Kelsey, close friends who wrote all their NeXt articles together, shared first prize in the personality profile category for "A Different Path," a profile of a Kenmore East classmate who dropped out of school in his senior year.
In awarding them the top prize, judge Nancy Brown, an assistant professor at Marymount College in Tarrytown, said: "I was looking for a story which would approach a subject in a different way, or a profile which would challenge stereotypes. In this story I found both."
During the year Jen and Kelsey wrote for NeXt, they used a dialogue format for funny restaurant reviews and cover stories on coffeehouses and ice cream places. Last summer they made a return appearance with a cover story on a female classmate who took an extra year to win entry to the Naval Academy. Jen is a student at Northwestern University and Kelsey attends the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Former NeXt correspondent Rochelle White won second-prize in the first-person feature category for her compelling article, "A Teen Mom Tells Her Story." Judge Patricia Berg, an assistant journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin in River Falls, commented: "This piece offers an unflinching look at life as a young single mom. I liked the tone -- realistic, matter-of-fact, not at all self-serving. ... The subject is extremely important and tremendously relevant to young readers. Ms. White has done her readers a real service with this piece."
Rochelle, who moved back to Houston with her daughter Destiny shortly after her article was published, says she is working now but plans to enroll in college next semester.
Winning an honorable mention in the review category for her review of "Chicken Run" was NeXt movie critic Janet Bossard, an Olean High School graduate now attending Ithaca College. The judge pronounced her review "fun, well-written." Janet wrote 69 movie reviews for NeXt and makes a return appearance today with a review of "Bandits."
The work of many NeXt correspondents contributed to a third prize in the sweepstakes category for overall excellence for large-circulation newspapers. Articles mentioned by the judge were a compilation story by Caitlin Bell (Nardin Academy), Stephen Hoeplinger (St. Joseph's Collegiate) and Lisa Lopez (Buffalo Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts) on their adventures getting home during last year's Nov. 20 freak snowstorm and a first-person story on the Ramadan fast by Shifa Ali (Williamsville East). Other articles in winning issues were by Anna Brady (Nardin Academy), Jermaine Younger (City Honors) Jason Torreano (Starpoint), Christine Szudzik (Mount Mercy) and Katie Baynes (Williamsville East).
NeXt correspondent Ben Allen, a junior at Grand Island High School, was one of 10 teens from across the country to win a fellowship to attend the YEAA conference in Springfield, Ill., where the awards were presented. Among articles he has written for NeXt were two cover stories, one on snowboarding and one titled "Life With Haley," a poignant first-person feature about his experience with his severely disabled younger sister.