By Joseph Sweeney
Miller Place High School
Danielle Ranucci has been a bibliophile and writer since age five.
“I write and read every day; it’s my soul,” said the Commack High School rising junior. “Right now I’m currently reading the entire twelfth grade English curriculum early.”
The former student of The Long Island School for the Gifted took college-level English classes two years early to deepen her passion for the art of the language.
She credits her mother and English teacher Andrea Bryan as her inspirations. “Ms. Bryan loves to laugh, teach and is one of the most deep-thinking people I know.”
Danielle began her student journalism career by serving as editor of her middle school paper. In her freshman year of high school, she became chief arts and entertainment reporter for The Courant, and next year will become editor in chief.
While juggling her academic load and school paper work, she continues to read multiple advanced books simultaneously. “My favorite books are The Fountainhead and Death of a Salesman,” she said. “I would say my favorite genre is classical literature because it conveys more themes about the world.”
While consuming book after book for the fun of it, she writes frequently and reads blogs about writing. “Her work ethic is exemplary,” her mother said. Despite her heavy workload, those who know Danielle say she never seems pressured and always projects an aura of optimism and gratitude. “She has a quintessential upbeat personality,” her mother continued. “She is also kind, sweet, loving and truly a good person. She has the ability to persevere even in the face of adversity.”
Danielle has remained upbeat even though her dad suffered a stroke two years ago and was paralyzed on one side. “My dad and I are very close,” she said. “I used to play tennis with him, and he was the one who introduced me to reading. My dad’s spirit is made of steel, and he continues to persevere. My spirit is also made of steel, and I’m determined too.”
Her love of writing and constant desire to challenge herself made her instantly interested in the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists at Stony Brook University when her journalism teacher told her about it. She applied that day after school in her room decorated with scattered books from her favorite used bookstore.
When she was accepted, Danielle was “overjoyed for the challenge.” She continued, “I’m quite nervous leaving home for camp, but I’m eager to gain more social skills and learn more about the media.”
“Writing has helped me through hard times,” she said, “And I hope that journalism will play a more prominent role in my life.”