Flip or Flop: FSPA edition

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Sophomores Zoe Persaud, Emma Remudo and Bella Ramirez (me) point to the most brutally honest sign in Islands of Adventure. Yes, it’s more true than those “too tall to ride” signs. (Photo/Bella Ramirez)

Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) — the journalism convention to end all others. Or rather, to start all upcoming aspiring young journalists’ careers. I went to FSPA for the second year in a row, April 10-13, and let me just say, it gets better every year. Let’s dive into the marvelous world of scholastic journalism.

To operate the interactive map, click play and choose from the various locations in the sidebar to see photos from each spot. (Created by Bella Ramirez)

After a five-hour-long bus ride, a goofy dinner/breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a steep climb up the stairs, we finally made it to our room in the Wyndham Orlando Resort. I roomed with freshman Hannah Myers (Spotlight Yearbook) and sophomores Zoe Persaud (Expressions Lit Mag/Patriot Post newsmagazine) and Emma Remudo (Patriot Post newsmagazine). Since our room housed someone from each publication, my roommates and I were able to share our experiences in each. We bonded and even tried to do the blind makeup challenge together. This allowed a new round of humility and admiration of each publication to flow through the room. Sometimes the publications like to compete with one another, but not my room; we were all love.

We started off the convention with on-the-spot competitions. I competed in my first “individual” competition at the FSPA state convention — podcast. I enjoyed finding interviewees in a brand new place and adventuring through Orlando. Despite the fun I had reporting, I was surprised when I later found out that my competition could have been done in a team. Even though the competitions were a little bit unorganized, I had fun and enjoyed my time in them. You can check out the podcast I made here.

After competition day we enjoyed our time in classes and watched a spritely keynote speaker at opening ceremony. The rest of the convention was all fun — we ate ice cream at Cold Stone, danced and received awards at the banquet, feasted at Wawa and laughed all day in the halls. The cherry on top was going to Universal Studios and experiencing water rides, Harry Potter World and Dr. Seussville with my friends. FSPA allowed me to enjoy myself with both print and broadcast. By the end of the trip I knew we are one big, happy family.

Verdict: Flip; we are family.

In order to show my appreciation I wrote a small dedication to my print family on my personal instagram account. While social media can be used for branding, I like to use it as a way to show the world my priorities: one of which being this staff. (Photo/Bella Ramirez)

Bella Ramirez, 15, is a passionate journalist and Marvel fan. She enjoys writing for the newsmagazine, doing segments in WAHS and running her third publication, Pressing the Future. Ramirez has her head in the clouds and her heart in New York, fingers crossed she can last the next few years of high school in this Florida heat.

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