NEWSPA scholarship winner flourishes

At first she thought it was a joke. Was this really happening? She had been trying so hard not to get her hopes too high. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t believe her ears when she heard the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association president call her name from a sea of fellow high school onlookers: “Olivia Jude.”

“It was really surreal . . . I had never really won anything before,” she reflected.

Jude remembers texting her mom right after she found out she won the 2019 NEWSPA scholarship.
“She freaked out more than I did,” Jude said. “She was super excited.”

Jude and her mom have always had a very special relationship. She’s Jude’s inspiration to live her life to the fullest and make the best out of everything she does.

Now that Jude has started her freshman year at UW Oshkosh, she calls her mom to talk about classes.
“She’s super proud of me and she makes sure to tell me that, too,” Jude said.

To Jude, Hartford was the best town to grow up in. Her time at Hartford Union High School certainly didn’t go to waste. As a junior, Jude was recruited to join the Hartford Chronicle, the school’s newspaper. She’d always had an affinity for English classes, so she thought, “Let’s just give this a go.”

“I just thought it would be cool to learn about current events going on in the school and it would make me feel a lot more a part of the school just knowing everything that’s going on,” Jude said.

During her senior year at HUHS, Jude became the entertainment editor for the Hartford Chronicle.

It was a fitting role as she was able to express her fun-loving creativity and her passion for music.
A big part of what got Jude interested in writing was knowing that HUHS has established a name for itself at NEWSPA by attending the conference every year and entering competitive student material into the competitions.

Although she and her friends were mostly goofing around her first year at NEWSPA, there was an element of excitement from entering some of her articles into the competitions.

At the conference, students and schools can enter in the writing, design, photography, website or publication divisions. There is also a yearbook competition every year. Awards are announced at the conference. Seeing real professionals talking about their careers was inspirational for Jude.

She remembers thinking, “This is cool. These people are doing it for a living.” The 2020 NEWSPA conference this spring is excited to welcome keynote speaker Catie Edmondson, a distinguished reporter for the Washington bureau of the New York Times, to talk to high school students and administrators about her work.

Jude’s second year attending the NEWSPA conference, she went in with a whole new attitude. This year she knew she would be attending college here in the fall. Jude had never been to the UWO campus before NEWSPA.

“It was actually the reason why I came here; because I just really loved the environment and the vibes here,” Jude said.

Beside being obsessed with iced lattes with almond milk, Jude describes herself as fun, eccentric and easygoing.

“I went into college being like ‘I need to figure myself out,’” Jude said. “I’m hoping that this new realm of independence here will help me with that, and so far it is.”