Samantha won the 2015 Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s national writing championship earlier this summer. The program's mission is to encourage and support excellence in journalism and journalism education in America's colleges and universities.
The Hearst program competition took place in San Francisco, where finalists attended press conferences and conducted interviews as they reported and wrote three stories, including an on-the-spot piece. Judges evaluated their work to determine the winners.
For the on-the-spot story, students were charged with looking at the California drought’s effects in San Francisco. Samantha located a ranching family 55 miles away and set out at 5 a.m. to get their story. She received a $5,000 scholarship for winning the competition.
Samantha will begin her senior year this fall at Indiana University.