The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen Tony Madden as the winner of its 2018 Diversity Scholarship Award. The award is for graduating high school seniors and totals as much as $10,000 over four years.
Madden, who graduated this year from Kickapoo High School, in Springfield, Missouri, will use the scholarship to study journalism at the University of Missouri.
“Tony wowed the judges with his maturity and depth of reporting,” said Andrea Snyder Edney, President of the National Press Club. “His ability to turn big, tough topics around for a high-school readership was impressive. We expect to see great things from Tony in the years to come.”
Madden has been a standout journalism student and served as editor-in-chief of the school’s newsmagazine his senior year, producing 75-page full color magazines and an online publication.
“I am impressed with his coverage of a variety of student life and issue topics, as well as the opioid epidemic and how it has affected our school community,” Leslie Orman, the journalism advisor at Kickapoo High School, said. “Tony thrives outside of his comfort zone.”
The scholarship judges were impressed with Madden’s ability to not only take tough topics head on such as the #MeToo movement and opioid crisis but to take on those topics in original and impactful ways.
Madden also represented Missouri in the 2017 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference at the Newseum in DC last summer.
Madden has also spent a great deal of effort in high school becoming proficient in Spanish, which he said he anticipates will be invaluable for him in his journalism career in order to reach more communities and cultures.
“I feel that I’ll be able to bring diversity to journalism in the recognition of my experiences as a young gay man living in the Midwest,” Madden told the judges in his application essay. “I do understand what discrimination and intolerance feel like.
“I can say with no hesitation that proper representation matters, and so do the understanding and circulation of voices that are not often heard,” he said.