Board honors Grant High student journalists for tackling tough issues

May 22, 2015

Grant Magazine student reporters honored May 21 by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Thursday honored reporters from Grant Magazine, the student-run publication at Grant High School for reporting on tough issues including bullying, racism and misogyny on campus.

“The student journalists have not shied away from tackling difficult topics in their reporting,” Commissioner Loretta Smith wrote in her proclamation. “Their tenacity and dedication honor their families, school and community.”

In March, the Grant Magazine team traveled to New York City to receive its second consecutive Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

More than 1,200 school publications entered the contest.

“This has taught me what a team looks like, what it means to have people depend on you and come together and get a product out and make it better than last time every time,” said Hunter Stewart, a senior at Grant High. “In high school, you hear about experiences that shape you and you want to be prepared for where you go. This has prepared me more than anything else. The lessons I’ve learned that I know I’ll take with me.”

Photographer Cassie Hill, a senior, said she still remembers the first time she walked into the Grant Magazine office as a freshman. “I was so excited,” she said.

Four years later, she looks back at all the activities she’s been involved with in high school.

“The Constitution Team and Grant Magazine are the defining factors,” she said. “They made me who I am today.”

“So often high school students are held to standards below their potential. And the magazine has allowed us to surpass what’s typically expected of a high school student,” said junior and editor Eliza Kamerling-Brown.

“We have a voice at Grant High School. We reach out to students at Grant and beyond,” said Bella Rideau, also an editor who specializes in design.

The magazine’s volunteer advisor David Austin, who doubles as director of communications at Multnomah County, said the students get so much out of the program because they put so much into it.

“Grant Magazine is not a class. It's a job,” he said. “They have to do this in addition to their other classes. It’s a lot of work, takes a lot of dedication.” Austin said the team doesn’t stop at reporting the news. They dig deeper and seek out solutions. Often times they scoop the professional media.

Commissioner Jules Bailey said the Board was honored.

“We are not having a resolution to honor you. You are actually honoring us by being here,” he said. “You are honoring us with the work you do and we are so proud of the work you represent from Portland in the nation and in our community. Thank you. You give us a lot of hope for the future.”