Ideas in Motion Media’s very own #1StudentNWI and La Porte High School Senior Autumn Prast radiates positivity through her work as a student journalist.
Prast found her niche early in her educational career when she realized that writing was always her go-to activity. After her journalism teacher, Erin Parker, convinced her to join the Hi Times newspaper staff, Prast fell in love with the field of journalism. Today, she is the Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper.
“When Mrs. Parker convinced me to join newspaper, I really started thinking about my future and what I could do with journalism,” said Prast.
Thanks to Parker’s advice, Prast is now on track to study journalism in college. Although her applications have not been submitted yet, she plans on attending IUPUI where she will major in Journalism and minor in German, yet another interest of hers that blossomed at LPHS. She has been studying the language since her freshman year, and she hopes to maintain her language proficiency and expand her vocabulary in college.
“I was interested in German because I heard really good things about the teacher,” Prast said. “Also, my family is from Germany, so I really got into it. I wasn’t interested in any of the other languages, and I’m really glad I ended up taking German. I’m taking it in college because I don’t want to lose the language.”
Aside from being inspired by LPHS teachers, Prast claims that her father, Kevin Prast, made her the person she is today through his lessons on hard work and dedication. An employee at Hoosier Hydraulics since he was a teenager, Prast sacrificed other opportunities to provide for his family.
“My dad inspires me because he works so hard in general. He could have had a better life, but he focused on me and my sister Kelcie instead. I just really appreciate everything he does,” Prast said.
This positive, hard-working mindset empowered Prast to get involved with her passions, specifically journalism. Through her #1StudentNWI position, Prast can report on all of the great events and people at LPHS, and she could not be happier to do so.
“Everyone always searches for the negative. When people publish positive news, it creates balance, and it makes people feel special. It’s also nice to interview people I wouldn’t normally talk to in my school, like the people I see in the halls. I can recognize all of the effort that teachers put into their work as well, and they really deserve that recognition,” Prast said.
It's easy for Prast to make such quick connections with her teachers and peers during interviews because she's used to living in such a tight-knit community. To Prast, La Porte definitely lives up to its nickname, “The Hub of Awesome.”
“Everyone has an idea of what they want to do here in La Porte, and other people help them get it done. We’re such a tight-knit, positive community, so everyone knows and understands each other,” Prast said.
Prast’s high school is the same way. Although she was intimidated by LPHS’s size at first, Prast came to realize that it was an incredibly welcoming community.
“You can talk to anybody at LPHS. Everyone is so supportive, regardless of who they are. In my time here, I haven’t met a teacher or a student who would turn you away if you needed help with something.” Prast said.
According to Prast, positive news is a key aspect of maintaining LPHS’s friendly, welcoming environment.
“The school wouldn’t be as good as it is without positive news. We always try to get the word out there, and that makes people want to come to our school. People try harder when they’re noticed,” Prast said.
Prast’s dedication to shining a spotlight on those who try their hardest exemplifies the positive role she plays at LPHS and the role she will one day play as a professional journalist. Whether it's a hard-working teacher or a fellow student, Autumn Prast is always ready to bring the focus on to the positive in her community.