Carley Bonk, 16, of Johnstown, is excited to be among the nation's select students who are attending a media and jorunalism conference from July 18-30.
Bonk, a sophomore at Conemaugh Township Area High School, has been nominated to represent Pennsylvania as a National Youth Correpsondent to the 2012 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.
"I'm excited to be going," she said. "This is going to be a great opportunity. We raised $2,000 for the conference."
The daughter of Chris and Julie Bonk will be among 250 students from across the country to participating in the intensive week-long study of journalism and media.
Bonk was chosen based on academic accomplishments and her demonstrated interest and excellence in journalism and media studies.
National Youth Correspondents participate in hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media.
The experiential poortion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the media community.
The desire to attend the conference comes from a love of media and politics. She's an admitted political science junkie with plans to major in the subject or history, she said.
Those interests are just a few of her many activities both in and out of school.
She is a member of the marching band, jazz band, choir, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the track team, National Honor Society (NHS), Principal's Cabinet and Kauffman Mennonite Church.
She is also president of her class and an honor roll student.
Musically, she has been playing the saxophone for three years, is learning piano and collects vinyl records.
She has an extensive record collection and enjoys scouring Johnstown and other areas for fresh additions to her collection.
Her other hobbies include reading, golfing, photography and hunting. She finds that most of her activities help to bring her closer to her family, which includes her five-year-old sister Kaylee and her Shih Tzu Oliver.
"I'm really close to my family," she said. "I thry to find things to do with them."
Her mother shares her interests in reading, politics and civics. Her father is the golfer and hunter in the family.
She also helps with the church youth group and attends bible classes regularly.
Bonk isn't certain what career she'll pursue when she graduates from college, but she already intends to attend Eastern Mennonite University in West Virginia.
"I'm a planner," she said. "I have to go to college."
Johnstown teen eyeing career in journalism
Carley Bonk (Submitted photo / May 12, 2012)