SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Peter Warren, a junior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and a frequent contributor to TAPintoSPF, has been selected to represent the state of New Jersey at 2016 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

Warren will attend the six day camp from June 18-23. Only one person from each state is selected for the prize. As part of the program, he will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

"I had heard about the program last year, but because it is for rising seniors only, so I kept it in the back of my mind. When the time came to start looking for camps to attend over the summer, the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference was the first one to pop into my head," Warren said.

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"With the encouragement from my Journalism advisors at SPFHS, Mrs. Novik and Mrs. Tessi, I decided to apply," Warren added. "I am interested in this program because I am going to be able to learn new skills and meet and collaborate with people from all over the country."

This program began in 1999 and is funded by the Newseum Institute to honor Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, Newseum and the Freedom Forum. The conference is designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism.

"I encouraged Peter to apply because I knew he'd be an excellent candidate for this program, and I know he's always looking for opportunities outside of school to further his journalism experiences," said teacher Heidi Novik.

"Peter is a terrific writer and a super organized and motivated student, but to me, the most impressive thing about him is his modesty. He just keeps his head down and works," Novik added. "He's one of those students who does so much more than is asked or expected of him and is one of the most genuine, authentic, and thoughtful students I've had. Peter is a remarkable and unforgettable student and person."

The Newseum Institute, headquartered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.