By Whitney Burdette
When I signed up for FlipSide at the end of my eighth grade year, I had no idea it would lead to so many opportunities. During my four years on staff, I wrote more than 50 articles, met a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and attended a national conference. Not bad for a high school reporter.
I've always loved to write and had dreams of becoming a novelist. But once I entered middle school and realized that very few novelists actually make it big and earn money, I started looking for other outlets.
That's when I became involved in journalism. I wanted to continue that through high school and possibly beyond, so when I saw an ad seeking contributors in an issue of the FlipSide magazine, I jumped at the chance.
Two years later, I was given the opportunity to accompany my editor, Amy Robinson, to the Newspaper Association of America Foundation's Youth Editorial Alliance annual conference as a Teen Fellow.
I wrote an essay describing my experience with FlipSide and why I wanted to attend the conference. It was open to teens from newspapers across the country, so I was shocked when I was one of 13 selected.
Amy and I flew to Nashville and stayed in the Union Station Hotel. The whole conference was an incredible experience. I got to meet other teen journalists and see what teen sections across the country were doing.