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The Hilltop


Senior Staff 2018-2019 Sign Off

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 01: Editorial staff of the “Hill Top”, the student paper at Howard University. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Daja E. Henry, News Editor 2o18-2019

As a senior in high school, I picked up my first issue of The Hilltop on a visit. I was in awe. In that moment, I set a mission to get published in The Hilltop, the official newspaper of the Mecca.

My 18-year-old imagination, with limited knowledge of HBCU’s could not fathom that one day I’d be the News Editor, nor the type of news I’d have the privilege of covering. I couldn’t fathom picking up the legacy of Zora Neale Hurston and Louis Eugene King.

It has been an extreme honor and privilege to be your News Editor. I applied for the role on a leap of faith, not really sure if I was qualified. Having this role has taught me so much about myself and about journalism. It hasn’t always been pretty but I’ve enjoyed both the glamor and the grind. From interviewing Ta-Nehisi Coates to everyday students, I’ve been able to tell your stories and pour into young writers who will carry on this legacy. So thank you, Hilltop and thank you, HU.

Tayler Adigun, Sports Editor 2018-2019

Making it through all four years at Howard University is no easy feat. From personal struggles to academic stressors, college can be, and has been, a very trying four years. I learned a lot about myself and who I hope to become during my tenure at Howard and most notably at The Hilltop.

When I first joined The Hilltop as a sports journalist, I was just getting my feet wet in the world of sports journalism. I had never written a sports article before and was just as excited as I was nervous to try a completely new sector of journalism. Fast forward to one year later and I not only switched writing niches, but I became the editor for the entire sports section.

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I learned so much about not only journalism, but about people, during my time at The Hilltop. I got to see what kind of leader I would like to be and which styles of communication prove to be most effective when working in a group.

I improved my time management skills for the betterment of my stories, as well as the stories of others in my section. Most importantly I gained insight and perspective into the world of journalism that you can only see when you are helping someone else reach their journalistic goals.  Getting to help people write stories, get interviews and find their journalism style has been one of the best things I have gotten out of my time at The Hilltop.

I have never been afraid to ask for help and to now become the person people come to with questions is such a rewarding experience that I will be forever thankful to have.

As I continue towards my endeavors of becoming a master storyteller and upholding the legacy of those who came before me, the lessons learned during my time with The Hilltop will always be at the forefront of everything I do.

Sasha Jackson, Digital Editor 2018-2019

My time at The Hilltop was very innovative and hands-on which made me enjoyed this year so much. I enjoyed being taught by The Hilltop immensely and it has inspired me to continue learning with an open and positive mind. Thank you to Hilltop for helping me through the year by driving me places and teaching me the ropes as a digital editor.

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And to all The Hilltop editors, you not only became my colleagues, but you’ve also became my family and friends in only in a matter of a school year. It’s something I could only dream of, but you guys have made newspaper one of the best parts of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Marissa Luba Amara, Staff Reporter 2018-2019

The Honorable U.S. Senator Kamala Harris said once that “Howard is a place where you come as you are and leave as the person you aspire to be.”  When I think of my time here at the Mecca, I think of great strife to become the person I am today. As a transfer student, I have endured the task of transitioning from one institution to another. As a daughter, a sister, and friend I have undergone the process of becoming independent and assuming personal responsibility. As a pioneer, the first in my household to do various things, I have withstood the pain and triumph of trial and error.

As a Flashy Flag girl for SHOWTIME Marching band, I know how it feels to have early mornings and late nights. I know what it takes to have the confidence, endurance, and reassurance to march in an HBCU marching band for not one but two marching seasons. As a brother of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, Criminal Justice Fraternity, I am reminded of the struggle of what it means to be black in America and the importance of brotherhood. Finally, as a Staff Writer for Howard University’s newspaper, The Hilltop, I know the importance of honesty, integrity, and timeliness. I know what it feels like to have your story make the cover and I know why “Fake News” can never help with the progression of African Americans.

Thanks to SHOWTIME Marching band, I have repeatedly sung the Alma Mater to my fellow constituents for various events. In looking at the precious words my chosen measure of honor is “There she stands for truth and right, Sending forth her rays of light.” Howard is a woman, she is high, strong, and stands high on the hilltop, alone. I now know God’s plan was always bigger than my expectations.

Two years ago, I was working at McDonald’s and attending community college. I was never really sure when my life was going to change or how. I was simply going through the motions as a college freshman. I laid down to rest one day and dreamt of Howard. When I awoke, I spent the remainder of the day researching the illustrious HU. I was not even sure what I was searching for, I am first-generation American and the first in my family to go to school. The chances of me traveling from the suburbs of California to Washington, DC seemed outlandish and far-fetched. Yet here I am, making positive strides to further advance my education, personal brand and quality of life. On May 11, 2019, I will start the beginning of my journey by being a recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. There is great work to be done on a long road ahead and I will carry Howard, along with me every step of the way. I will always have the feeling of this institution, O Howard, we’ll sing of thee.

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Thank you Mom for all your support along the way and the rest of my family and friends.


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