When it comes to running any sort of enterprise, founders will always tell you that it’s a total grind 95% of the time, and your highlight reel makes up the other 5%. I think this is totally true.

On a daily basis, I’m constantly checking email, interacting with writers, partners, and potential clients, sitting on Twitter all day long, writing/editing posts, dealing with TP crises of all sizes, and trying to stay on top of the eight million other things I do that aren’t TP-related. There’s a lot of gritting my teeth and texting my mom at 9:30 at night to complain and questioning every single decision I make.

But there’s also a lot of joy and excitement and fun. Oh, and internet memes. We’re very into internet memes.

And on top of all of that greatness, there’s one day every year (aka today) when I get to pick my head up from my computer screen (well, metaphorically speaking) and just be really, really proud of what this team has accomplished. Because damn, we’re awesome. And we totally deserve to celebrate it.

Just to give you an idea of what The Prospect’s entirely student-run team has been up to for the past two years:

  • Our site has been viewed over 1.8 million times. We’ll be hitting our two millionth page view in April (consequently, right around my birthday).
  • We’ve published over 2,100 articles to date.
  • Over 300 high school and college students have been involved with TP’s operation at some point or another.
  • Over 650,000 people have interacted with our platforms since our founding.
  • And while we don’t have any actual figures, we can say (without a doubt) that we’ve helped thousands of students have meaningful high school experiences, survive the admissions process, and start off their college careers on the right foot.

So, enough of this emotional stuff, let’s move on to all the exciting stuff that’s happening with TP:

1. We officially launched our high school blogs!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (shameless plug: You all should) know that I’ve been gabbing about these blogs for months now, and they’re finally live! You can check out The Ashburn Buzz, The Monty Sponge, and The Raider Reality NOW!

What’s going on (for those of you just catching up): For the past two years, countless students have told us about how much they’d love more opportunities to learn about writing, digital platforms, and media, but their current options at school (usually just an under-funded and over-censored newspaper) are bleh. And for many students, the idea of starting a blog is incredibly overwhelming in terms of tech and editorial.

That’s where we come in: We’ve launched (and will continue to launch on a rolling basis) school news/community blogs at high schools nationwide. This program allows students to get first-hand experience with journalism, blogging, social media, digital platforms, and teamwork. Even better, students will not be going through this process alone: The Prospect provides technical, financial, and editorial support to help these students thrive and learn as much as they can. Perks include one-on-one time with up-and-coming media moguls in addition to a stellar network of like-minded students, other media opportunities, and field trips.

But even more important to me personally, these blogs give students the chance I never had in high school: To know that being interested in blogging and media is totally okay (and actually very cool and feasible). These blogs are for the highly motivated and incredibly enthusiastic kids out there who want to be the next Arianna Huffingtons and Ezra Kleins but have no idea where to even begin.

Are you a high school student reading this and you want to start a blog and build your own team at your school? Email me at lherman@theprospect.net!

2. Tickets are on sale for our summer conference!

We were originally going to start selling tickets at the end of March/beginning of April, but we got so many emails from college access nonprofit leaders, parents, and students wanting to buy that we decided to open up registration a month early.

Details: The Admit Conference is taking place on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City. The conference will give high school students the lowdown on everything they ever need to know about admissions, slaying the game in high school, and rocking it in college. You can purchase tickets HERE.

Tickets are $20. If you are a student in the area who wants to attend our conference but are financially unable to do so, feel free to email me and we can work out an alternative arrangement!

3. We have more awesomeness coming up over the next several months!

Other great TP things include:

  • A soon-to-be-revamped YouTube channel. Seriously though, it’s going to be awesome.
  • A very cool new-and-improved version of The Prospect Society.
  • More on-the-ground programs for students.
  • Some super snazzy handbooks for high schoolers. (Also, we want to write a book, so LITERARY AGENTS, HIT US UP. We’re really cool and have lots of Sour Patch Kids and stuff.)

So, that’s us. We’re super excited to see where we go, and we’re beyond stoked to take you with us.

Live long and Prospect, folks.

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the author

Lily Herman is a junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Besides bopping around on The Prospect, Lily is a columnist for USA TODAY College (read the Quad Report, yo); an editorial intern for The Daily Muse; a contributing editor for the campus blog Wesleying; a national contributing editor for Her Campus; and an editorial/marketing intern at HelloFlo. When she is not studying or awkwardly waving at people around campus, Lily enjoys eating Sour Patch Kids and re-watching the Friday Night Lights series finale (she's Team Saracen, by the way). Also (shameless plug alert), feel free to follow her on Twitter, or email her at lherman(at)theprospect(dot)net.

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