Staff Writer Luquin honored as Gwen Ifill Student of the Year

Daniela Rangel

Sophomore Valeria Luquin received the Gwen Ifill Student of the Year award on Sept. 17 at a luncheon filled with LAUSD officials and family alike. 

“We’re very proud of all of her accomplishments,” Valeria’s father Sergio Luquin said. “Like she said in the speech she definitely works hard in everything she does so it’s really good to see her be acknowledged for all of the hard work that she does.”

After having appeared in a promotional video for the News Literacy Program’s Checkology and on Fox 11 News, Luquin is the fourth recipient to take home the award for female student journalists of color as well as a $250 reward. Not only is she the first recipient on the west coast but the first student to win from a journalism magnet school. Previous recipients were from schools in Washington D.C. and Queens, New York. 

Luquin was selected due to her continued usage of news literacy and how seriously she’s taken the program and what she’s learned from it. The first-year staff writer has captured the essence of what the News Literacy Program (NLP) was established for. In her freshman year, Luquin took the Checkology online media literacy program in her Journalism 1 class.

“Valeria obviously has incorporated the lessons that she learned from Checkology and she said that she uses them in her everyday life,” said Alan Miller, founder of the NLP. “She has become an advocate for news literacy at home and is now an aspiring journalist herself.”

Ifill, the co-anchor of PBS NewHour, as an NLP board member. She died in 2016.

The student journalist has shown that she is a model for not only her fellow students but others to come. Her humble and articulate nature in addition to her obvious success and hard work in journalism thus far goes to show how worthy and deserving she is of the award. 

“I’m extremely honored to have been nominated and to be receiving an award that commemorates the unforgettable journalist Gwen Ifill,” Luquin said. “She has left such a huge impact in the field of journalism, especially for women of color like myself, and has made them feel heard in this field.”