Free Spirit

The deadline is March 1, 2023. Applications must include the completed application, three journalistic work samples, two essays, two letters of recommendation, a high school transcript, and a color headshot photo. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

NOTE: Letters of recommendation will be accepted beyond the March 1 deadline and can be emailed to [email protected].

Applications may be accepted beyond the deadline from select states that have an insufficient number of applicants.

No. Applicants are not required to list SAT or ACT scores, because juniors typically don’t take the exams until spring. However, scores should be supplied if they are available.

Two essays with a maximum of 500 words each must be submitted with the application. First, applicants are invited to share their interest in/passion for journalism; and second, what characteristics make them a “free spirit.” (Applicants are invited to share experiences and/or challenges that make them a free spirit. Possible characteristics include leadership, courage, creativity, risk-taking, innovative thinking, perseverance, rising above circumstances to accomplish something extraordinary.)

We require samples of news writing, photography, audio, video or other media that were produced for publication or for classroom assignments.

All applicants will be notified by email no later than mid-May.

The 2023 conference will be in person June 24-29, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

The Freedom Forum values the health and safety of all Free Spirit participants. Our company policy as of September 2022 is to require attendees of any in-person D.C. program to be fully vaccinated or inform us of a medical or religious exemption. We are continuing to monitor the pandemic status and will share COVID-19 protocols when students are notified of acceptance to the program.

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Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.