Luquin takes home Gwen Ifill Student of the Year award


Alliana Samonte

Staff writer Valeria Luquin will be honored for winning NLP’s Gwen Ifill Student of the Year award on Sept. 17.

Alliana Samonte

From appearing on Fox 11 to an interview with Checkology, sophomore Valeria Luquin has become the first student from the west to receive News Literacy Project’s Gwen Ifill Student of the Year award.

“I feel really honored to be receiving the award,” Luquin said. “It makes me feel proud of all the hard work I put into everything I do.” 

Officials from Los Angeles Unified School District and the News Literacy Project will be invited to a luncheon on Sept. 17 at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) to honor Luquin as the winner of the award. The award includes $250 along with a plaque, which has Ifill’s face engraved on it. 

“Last year as a ninth-grader, she participated in the Checkology online program,” journalism teacher Adriana Chavira said. “They were just impressed by how much she is using media literacy every single day.”

The News Literacy Project (NLP) is an organization which has been part of DPMHS for several years but it is the first time they have ever chosen a student from this school to receive such an award. Luquin will receive the award in honor of Gwen Ifill, a PBS NewsHour anchor who died five years ago and who has made a huge impact for journalists of color. Alan C. Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project stated in a press release that Luquin has worked hard to get to where she is right now as well as what career path she decides to take on.

“Valeria has taken everything she’s learned on Checkology to heart,” according to a press release by the NLP. “She not only has brought these lessons to bear on her work as a student journalist, but is now considering a career in journalism herself.”

Recently, Luquin was selected to accompany LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner as a student journalist on the first day of the new school year along with two other students to follow him to different schools reporting on what Beutner did at each school. She has accomplished so much over the past year with the help of Chavira and the team at Checkology, who has helped her open up new opportunities. 

“Checkology taught me to be a more critical person,” Luquin said. “Ms. Chavira has also helped me and taught me a lot about journalism.”