Print Editor-in-Chief Brumer wins state Journalist of the Year award

Rikka Dimalanta

Cheers and applause filled the entire room as Print Editor-in-Chief Delilah Brumer found out she won California Journalist of the Year on Feb. 13.

“I felt so proud and so happy because it’s more than just an award,” Brumer said. “I’ve won awards before and I really care about awards but I care more about journalism itself. About the reporting, the writing, the amplification of voices.”

Brumer now goes on to compete for national Journalist of the Year (JOY), a Journalism Education Association scholarship won through a national competition for senior student journalists. The purpose is to highlight the works of student journalists around the country and encourage them to further pursue a career in journalism. Brumer is the first winner from southern California to win state-level JOY. The runners up in the state contest are Anna Jerolimov from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, and Arati Periyannan of Palo Alto High School.

The applicants were required to submit their website, which features an in-depth portfolio of their best work, three letters of recommendation, an essay and more. Brumer spent almost a year creating her portfolio while also juggling other responsibilities such as college applications and magazine issues. Once a winner is selected from each state, they compete on a national level against each other. The winner and runners up will be announced at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco on April 22. 

“I really wanted to memorialize my four years of hard work as a student journalist,” Brumer said. “I feel like it’s very gratifying to feel like your work really is noticed and people really care about it.”

Journalism teacher and adviser Adriana Chavira has seen Brumer’s growth as a journalist from her freshman year to now. Brumer originally had no interest in journalism as a freshman but she eventually became more enthusiastic and passionate about it as time went on. During her time on The Pearl Post staff, she has been able to overcome a range of challenges including distance learning and the suspension of the publication’s adviser.

“She definitely has grown tremendously since 9th grade when I had her in my photography class,” Chavira said. “Being in distance learning through the pandemic didn’t give her the same experience as other kids but she did not let that stop her from pursuing stories and taking photos.”

Brumer is already working on perfecting her portfolio for the national competition. She has already committed to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago and plans to join the student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern.

“Award or not, I’m going to keep taking photos, designing and interviewing people,” Brumer said. “I’m going to keep researching and working hard. I want to be a journalist for the rest of my life regardless of any awards and I know that my work is so impactful regardless of the award.”