LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Brennan Eberwine was named after former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. And the senior from duPont Manual High School in Louisville is likely on the same path to change the world.

“I’ve always just been a person who wants to know as much as I can about something and then asks, how do we fix it?” Eberwine said.

What You Need To Know

  • Brennan Eberwin has a 3.8 GPA as a Senior at duPont Manual High School in Louisville

  • The Editor-in-Chief of the Manual Red Eye student newspaper and has won multiple writing awards   

  • He volunteers for ACLU and has been named “Emerging Civil Rights Leader” by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

  • Eberwine plans to study journalism in college

He’s an elite student, with a 3.8 GPA at one of the best high schools in the state, but he makes his biggest impact as a journalist.

Eberwine serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Manual Red Eye, one of the most respected student newspapers in the nation. He’s won dozens of writing awards for his work, both locally and nationally:

  • 1st place, Student Editorial Writing, Society of Professional Journalists
  • 1st place, Student Government/Politics Reporting, SPJ
  • “Excellent” rating, Press Law & Ethics, JEA National Student Media Contest
  • Best of SNO multiple times
  • Finalist, KET Young Writers Contest Short Story Category
Brennan Eberwine received multiple 1st Place Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. (Brennan Eberwine)

Manual Journalism adviser Vanessa Hutchison says, “He has a way of bringing a very specific voice to his writing, but also explaining things in a way that make it easier for the reader to understand.”

Eberwine is passionate about a free press and unfettered access to ideas. He’s taken his fight against censorship to the Louisville School Board and the Kentucky State Legislature.

Hutchison said that’s how she got to know him.

“My first real impression of Brennan was seeing him speak in front of our school board. He was fighting against the censorship of a book in our district. That’s just who he is,” she said. “His fight for media freedom and press freedom and against censorship, it’s not just something he does for school, you know what I mean? It’s really who he is, and it’s core to his values.”

Eberwine thinks it’s crucial not to limit what people can see.

“Broadening your horizons and expanding your worldview is one of the most important parts of education. And as we mature from elementary school to middle school and high school, you learn that’s a part of the whole process.”

Brennan Eberwine was honored by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights as an “Emerging Civil Rights Leader." (Brennan Eberwine)

He’s taken his advocacy for an open exchange of ideas to the American Civil Liberties Union, where he does frequent volunteer work.

“Those are people who—it’s their job and they’re extremely positive people in the face of, you know, lawmakers slamming the door in your face or sometimes not a lot of victories or sometimes discouraging results. They are extremely positive people and there are people who honestly genuinely care,” he said.

Hutchison says Eberwine is making a difference at a young age, pointing out that while many students want to change the world, Brennan is already doing that.

“A lot of students hope or plan to change the world one day. But I really think that, in some ways, Brennan is already doing that work and trying to change the world right now.”

Those efforts have been noted in multiple ways, including being honored by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights as an “Emerging Civil Rights Leader”, being recognized by the Jefferson County Board of Education for Civil Service, and receiving a Special Citation in the Kentucky Senate given by State Senator Gerald Neal.

As you might imagine, Eberwine will study journalism in college:

“Long term, I really want to be a journalist. It’s funny when I tell people that… and specifically journalists… there’s a sort of a pessimism in journalism,” he explained. “This industry is like shrinking and dying. But I’m a little bit defiant. I know it’s a hard field to break into and there are realities to it. But I think there is really something to it and every time I see stories that really affect people and really are able to make something happen in Louisville, in the United States, in the world. I always think that’s what I want to do, and that’s what I’ll keep on doing.”

Hutchison sums it up by saying, “George Bernard Shaw said the unreasonable man forces the world to adapt to him. That’s Brennan. Brennan is totally unreasonable and we love him for it. That’s how he’s going to make the world a better place.”

That process has already begun, making Brennan Eberwine a deserving Spectrum News 1 High School Scholar.