The Last Full Day

This week has been filled with laughter, smiles and the sound of typing on the desktops in the newsroom. Many of us throughout the week have grown in journalism and friendship. Being with each other 24 hours a day has made us become our own family away from home, and made this experience even more memorable for the Greene Team.

The past few days have given us an experience that most people wouldn’t have, and helped us figure out what we want to do in life. The Long Island Ducks game was one of the most interesting activities in the camp because of the real journalism experience we were getting out of it. Being able to walk around the park and using the knowledge we learned in lessons the previous few days really made me feel like we were real journalists getting interviews for a news package.

Today we finished our two packages with our groups and started to say our goodbyes trying to make our final memories for the week. We all made sure to get every social media account and numbers from all 25 people in the group to make sure we keep the Greene Team experience going, even after we leave.

Our final diner together really made me remember just how much I’m going to miss all of these people I’ve made connections with, including Rick and Catherine. Going around the room and sharing our final thoughts and things we’re going to miss brought tears to most peoples’ eyes who also realized how much they’re going to miss this program and the experience it gave them. Because of the Greene team editors, alumni, and volunteers who came out to teach us the ins’s and out’s of journalism, it was a fun learning experience.

Im proud to say that I’ve became more confident in my work and am ready to bring these experiences with me to school and other future oppertunities that come my way. I’m going to miss my new Greene team family and can’t wait to come back as an alumni and share my experiences with others.

(photo by Jianni Burnett)

Getting to know people and some fundamentals

Taylor Yon, Meghan Reilly and Zoe Gordon are among the new friends I’ve made at the Greene Institute. Photo by Jennifer Cirigliano

The first full day is going by fast. Yesterday we had a meeting discussing all the topics we can use for our articles throughout the week. After that, we ate pizza and then were allowed to to get ice cream, which helped a lot of us to talk, learn names and get to know the people were going to be spending a whole week with.

It was interesting learning about everyones thoughts and environments before coming into the program and how they prepared.

Today we were all woken up by a really loud knock at the door around 6:30 a.m., making us all have to roll out of bed after the tiring day yesterday. We then got breakfast and had a lesson on interviewing and got really good ideas and information to help us for the week and for the future when writing articles and for when some of us become journalists.

I’m so happy to have gotten this experience and met new people. I can’t wait for all the fun things going on for the rest of the week and to show off my progress in the end.

Jianni Burnett: Focusing on a journey

By Jenn Cirigliano
Mepham High School

Sixteen-year-old Jianni Burnett caught the journalism bug earlier this year after taking a media course at Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park in Queens.

During the class, she took on such positions as director and floor manager for multimedia projects to help keep herself busy with something she loved and also to learn more about journalism to help her in the future.

Her media teacher, Michael Pepe, described her as “a young woman who has a keen interest and passion for journalism that can be shown through her hard work and dedication.” She has the ability to be everywhere in the room at once, he said, and she helped anyone she could and tackled any obstacle in her way.

The class would help to live stream and video tape graduations, celebrations, school productions and other events around the school. Jianni also helped shoot and interview elected officials about their daily jobs and things that needed to be done to improve community safety for the family’s living there.

Jianni is inspired by her parents to keep developing her knowledge and interest in journalism.

“I’m inspired by the people around me every day,” she said. “In my house journalism is around me. My parents watching the news and also reading the papers, giving us interesting topics to talk about at the dinner table.”

Jianni has developed an interest in places around the world and her dream is to be able to travel. She said she hopes the knowledge she gains through The Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists will motivate her desire to travel.

“Say you need to interview someone — they won’t always be able to respond and do the interview. But I’m learning that’s okay, and you can have other participants or find other willing people.”

Jianna said she also has a keen interest in writing poetry. She uses this skill to write about problems, express her feelings and increase her skills in writing.

Although she doesn’t know what her future holds, or have a set interest on certain colleges, Jianni’s mother, Marjorie Burnett, has seen an enormous growth in her writing and editing skills beginning in 8th grade.

In addition, her mother said, “Jianni has an amazing personality and strong caring ability for the people close to her.”

Now, going into junior year, Jianni is already looking for her next opportunity to advance her knowledge in journalism. For her, this includes social media.

“Social media is a wide platform so you can get word out there,” she said. “Photography is a big part of journalism, and … I know a lot of journalists and photographers promote their work that way.”

She said she will be taking AP English next year because of her academic ability in her English-based classes every year.

“I’m excited to make progress in my journalism journey and can’t wait to take on the challenge of an AP English class next year.”