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Student journalist earns national award for the second time

Anthony Kristensen of Francis Howell North has received his second Robert F. Kennedy [RFK] Journalism Award.

Only 13 prizes are handed out annually by the RFK Journalism Awards, most of which go to professional organizations such as Univision, the Detroit Free Press, and the Los Angeles Times. Two are reserved for high school students – one for print, and one broadcast. Kristensen is the first student in the RFK program’s history to win the High School Print award in consecutive years.

Ethel Kennedy, RFK’s widow, called each winner to congratulate them. She presented the awards, along with Kerry Kennedy, at the 49th Annual Journalism Awards on May 23, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

This year, Kristensen delved into how sports can transcend the field of play. His story, “Syrian Soccer Team Looks to Qualify for the World Cup,” describes a Syrian soccer fan watching his native country’s team try to qualify for the World Cup while a civil war boils over in the country. The piece wasn’t just about a team seeking to get into the biggest sports tournament in the world, but rather about the world itself.

Last year, RFK Human Rights honored Kristensen for his story, “What One Family Could Never Forget.” In it, Kristensen wrote about a high-achieving Francis Howell North student and his family, explaining how they triumphed over adversity and hardship to make their way to the United States from war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“My advice to other students is to listen to those above you, find topics you’re passionate about and go after them,” Kristensen said. “Also, always look for opportunities to make yourself better, whether it’s going to a camp or just sitting down with someone to get your work critiqued.”

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