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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Azaam
Azaam Guama
FOJ Intern

(he/him) Azaam is a junior this is his first year on staff. He will be an intern this year. Azaam enjoys listening to music and playing soccer.

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D.C.’s Freedom Forum names Anna Song Iowa’s Free Spirit Scholarship winner

Song will receive a scholarship and all-expenses-paid trip to D.C. to attend a journalism conference this summer
Anna+Song+%E2%80%9925+is+the+2024+Free+Spirit+winner+from+Iowa.+Song+will+be+the+West+Side+Story+print+design+editor+for+2024-25.%0A%0A
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Anna Song ’25 is the 2024 Free Spirit winner from Iowa. Song will be the West Side Story print design editor for 2024-25.

The Freedom Forum in Washington, D.C. awarded Anna Song ’25 in the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference for 2024. Students selected for the program receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. June 22-27 and a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice.

The program was established in 1999 to honor Neuharth, founder of The Freedom Forum and USA Today. The conference is designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism. Today there are more than 1,400 “Free Spirits” including journalists working for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, ESPN and network-affiliated TV stations.

According to the Freedom Forum website, Free Spirits have been described as people who “dream, dare, do.” 

“A free spirit can also be a risk-taker, a visionary, an innovative leader, or a courageous achiever who accomplishes great things beyond his or her circumstances,” said Neuharth, who died in 2013.

Previous West High Journalism Free Spirit winners include Wesal Haroun ’24, Maya Chu ’23, Hanah Kitamoto ’22, Marta Leira ’20, Anjali Huynh ’18, Isabelle Robles ’17, Lushia Anson ’14, Ashton Duncan ’12, Eleanor Marshall ’11 and Gordon Bourjaily ’06.

Song is currently assistant design editor of the West Side Story newsmagazine, and she will be design editor for the 2024-25 school year.

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