This year’s Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year is Gina Nguyen, editor-in-chief of The Vision online student newspaper at the Mississippi School for Math & Science. Nguyen was selected from a pool of 34 student applicants, and judging was based on the strength of her comprehensive online portfolio of work.

“This was the largest field of applicants we’ve ever had for this award, and Gina was absolutely the cream of the crop,” Mississippi Scholastic Press Association director R.J. Morgan said. “She’s a prime example of what a talented, curious student can accomplish when they are truly challenged by a real-world learning environment. I’m excited to have her as our state’s standard-bearer in the national contest.”

Nyugen will now advance to the national level of the Journalism Education Association’s High School Journalist of the Year competition, where she will compete for up to $3,000 in scholarship award money. She and other state winners will be honored at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville on April 16-18. As Mississippi’s top scholastic journalist, Nguyen will headline a select group of yet-to-be-announced All-Mississippi honorees at MSPA’s spring statewide convention at the University of Mississippi on March 31.

“Her most important trait is her doggedness,” Vision adviser Thomas Richardson said. “She’s not satisfied with the status quo, and her passion for pushing us toward greater heights is infectious. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been her teacher and adviser, and I look forward to seeing what is next for such a gifted and purposeful student.”

Nguyen is a senior and plans to study journalism and foreign language in college. She is considering University of Southern California, Northwestern and George Washington University, among others. 

“I’m super excited!” Nguyen said. “I never thought journalism and working for The Vision would take me this far. It’s been such an enjoyable time, and I can’t wait to see what happens from here.”

Nguyen’s winning portfolio can be found here.