The CHAT! Represents PPCHS at FSPA


Valerie Questell, News Editor

   Cameras flashing and screams of excitement rave amongst the hallways of the Wyndham Hotel. One has never seen this many young, talented student journalists in one room. Schools from all over the state are at each other’s throats when it comes to competing. With colleges advertising throughout the halls, many students who happened to be seniors or rising seniors who are twice as nervous are staring at the college tables with ambiguousness. The competitions varied, but many were aiming for one thing: The Emerging Young Journalist award. 

   “Who are you?” “What publication are you from?” Questions like these were soaring throughout the halls as more schools arrived at the Wyndham Hotel in Orlando. Given that all publications had different students searching for photos and quotes for their stories, an event for experiencing one’s passion in journalism had turned into a paparazzi frenzy. However, the newspaper is not the only award winning aspect in this competition. Yearbook, broadcasting programs, and even digital art, had the opportunity to enter these competitions. 

   This event was not only filled with academic excellence and passion, but also adventure and creativity. Competing with our rivals has not only brought anticipation and fastidious work ethics, but learning about different publications and their strategies have helped the CHAT grow. However, furthering our learning experience with college information sessions was also an important part of the event. Colleges such as the University of Florida, Florida International University, and the University of Central Florida made appearances, ‘recruiting’ potential journalists for their aspiring programs. The CHAT attended information sessions for FIU and UF, learning about summer programs and local internships to fulfill their journalism passions.

   The FSPA Convention ended off with a banquet and an award ceremony that tied the whole program together. The CHAT was awarded many honorable mentions, which has encouraged their newspaper staff to keep working hard and make sure every year will be better than the last. This year, The CHAT took FSPA as a learning experience and retained essential information to ameliorate their publication and thrive. Keynote speakers and TikTokers from the Washington Post, Carmella Boykin and Chris Vazquez, elaborated on the work ethic and dedication that are needed to be a reliable journalist. Their speeches were tied in and closed with a quote from Neil Gaiman: “A good writer should be able to write comedic work that made you laugh, and scary stuff that made you scared, and fantasy or science fiction that imbued you with a sense of wonder, and mainstream journalism that gave you clear and concise information in a way that you wanted it.”

   The Florida Scholastic Press Association convention is an event that the CHAT Newspaper will forever cherish and further enjoy throughout the years of improvement. Mr. Fagen–The CHAT Newspaper and Prowler Yearbook Adviser–celebrated his well earned pin of 10 years with FSPA. Mr. Fagen and The CHAT will continue to represent Pembroke Pines Charter High School with excellence and pride, as they take home awards and honorable mentions.