Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Joe Hynan
It was a warm August afternoon in Plainfield when Maher Kawash saved his friend from drowning.
Kawash and four friends including Jasper McGee were walking in the woods alongside a creek. McGee decided that taking a swim in the murky creek would be a good way to beat the heat, despite not knowing how to swim.
The friends voiced caution as McGee waded into the water but he reassured them of the waters shallowness with each step he took.
Until he stepped off the ledge he walked on and found himself in water fifteen feet deep.
Kawash took action as the rest of the group stood frozen in fear. He jumped in the creek and grabbed McGee, pulling him safely away from Death’s outstretched hands. “Jasper is my brother. There was no way I would let him drown,” said Kawash.
School started two weeks later and Kawash was once again back to his busy schedule. He plays on a travel baseball team to prepare for his spot as pitcher on the Varsity baseball team. He leads his schools fan section, the Orange Crush. And this year he is Editor in Chief of his high school newspaper, after being Sports Editor for the past two years. He works on extracurriculars and has developed a reputation through them. He known by most everybody at school but most everybody knows him by one thing or another, whether it be as a baseball player, the Editor in Chief, or the fan section leader.
In school Kawash is known by the activities he does. But to his friends and family, like the four friends with him on the August day, Kawash is known as much more than that. “Journalism and Baseball are important to me. But family and friends come first,” he said.