Robert F. Kennedy, a renowned advocate for human rights and social justice, has left a legacy through the voices of those who speak for what is right. One of those people, Francis Howell North High student Sarah Zimmerman, has been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization with its annual journalism award, judged by current media professionals. Zimmerman won the High School Print Article of the Year for her story, “One Incredible Goal.”
Founded by the reporters who covered Robert F. Kennedy’s historic 1968 presidential campaign, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards honor outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy’s concerns, including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world.
Aaron Manfull, director of student media at Francis Howell North High and Zimmerman’s journalism teacher, said he believes Zimmerman’s journalistic integrity and work ethic spoke through her work.
“When I first found out, I was almost in tears,” Zimmerman said, “Not necessarily because I won, but because it showed that other people thought that the work I had done was making an impact.” Zimmerman was very passionate about the story her words conveyed about a school with such a great mission.
“It was because I care so deeply for the students and the teachers at the school, I hope it showed in my writing,” Zimmerman said.
“Sarah did such a great job with this story throughout the process,” Manfull said, “from visiting the [Nahed Chapman New American Academy] campus and conducting numerous interviews to writing, editing and redrafting the piece numerous times. She worked really hard to share the story of the school and the stories of some of the people within its walls, and her work definitely had an impact.”
Zimmerman is the third consecutive Francis Howell North journalism student to win this national award.