War Cry alumni on their way to success

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Addy Kondi

War Cry alumni use their experience on the newspaper staff to propel their future. Whether it be a college degree in journalism, nursing or criminal justice, former newspaper staffers reflect on how their time on the newspaper staff affected their future plans. 

Former War Cry sports editor, Kylie Ilhardt, was originally looking at other colleges but made her final decision to study nursing at the University of North Florida.

“UNF has a lot of nursing opportunities which is the career [path] I want to take,” Ilhardt said. “I have always loved Jacksonville, and I want to live there after college, so UNF seemed like the perfect fit.”

Being on the newspaper staff prepared her for college by giving her writing and interviewing skills, and by exposing her to different career paths. 

“Since I joined my senior year, my writing skills have gotten so much better, which helped me write college admissions essays [and] essays for both high school and college,” Ilhardt said. “War Cry also prepared me for interviews and how to ask and answer the right questions.”

Ilhardt explained that War Cry was her favorite class of her senior year, and she misses the excitement of going to class every day.

“I miss getting the inside scoop on everything going on. I miss getting to interview people and meeting new people. I miss going to all the events to take pictures. I miss everything,” Ilhardt said. 

Ilhardt thinks back to last school year and wishes she could experience another day of War Cry. 

“I think especially with the ending we got to my senior year, I never got my closure from this class, so it makes me miss everything even more because if I knew it was going to be my last day in that class, I wouldn’t have ever taken it for granted,” Ilhardt said.

Thinking of the future, Ilhardt’s advice to Jupiter High students is to give it your all because it reflects on you. 

“It’s important to make the most of your four years. Be open-minded about anything and everything. Learn to take criticism, and make your writing better. Always take initiative in the class, and stand up if someone needs help. Don’t be scared to meet new people,” Ilhardt said.

Former War Cry design editor and staffer Christina Paraschiv explained that War Cry inspired her to consider attending the journalism program at her college. 

“Writing articles almost every day of the week really improved my writing and grammar skills for essays and such,” Paraschiv said.

Paraschiv is now attending one of the top criminal justice programs in the country at Loyola University of New Orleans. 

“I’m majoring in criminology, and the criminal justice program is super good here. So, I felt it would be a great fit because it’s a smaller school,” Paraschiv said. 

Looking back, Paraschiv misses the tight-knit, community feel of Jupiter and is happy she and her classmates were able to accomplish so much.

“I definitely miss the small community we made just inside the classroom and I enjoyed how even with the virus we were able to bring so much to last year with only half of a school year,” Paraschiv said.

Paraschiv reflects on her years in high school and the way Jupiter and its residents have impacted her.

“I think the thing I miss the most from Jupiter is driving around with my friends, going to the beach and my favorite restaurants, just like the very chill aura that Jup gives,” Paraschiv said.

Her advice to students is to focus on what’s important and to not procrastinate.

“It’s probably said so much, but don’t take your time for granted,” Paraschiv said. 

Former editor-in-chief, Lindsey Fine, is attending Syracuse University in New York at a nationally-ranked journalism school. 

“I chose Syracuse because it has a great program for what I want to do. I love the campus, and I really love how spirited everyone on campus is,” Fine said. 

Fine was on the War Cry staff for four years, and it helped her prepare for a future in communications and journalism.

“War Cry helped prepare me for college by teaching me time management and [by] improving my writing skills,” Fine said.   

Although Fine is experiencing a new environment and meeting new people every day, she is nostalgic for her time on War Cry.

“I miss the sense of community War Cry has and the feeling of working towards a common goal,” Fine said.  

Her suggestion for students is to work hard for what you want, and, by doing so, to go down the right path, whether you are super interested in journalism or not. 

“For students at Jupiter, I would say if you want to go out of state take AP classes, to War Cry students, I would say you really get out what you put in, even if you don’t want to go into journalism, being on your high school newspaper staff is something you will take with you for the rest of your life,” Fine said.