By Laila Stevens
Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
Even as a young child, Emily Palazzotto knew how to spark emotion in readers.
“I have always been a strong writer and all my life I have been told my writing moves people,” she said.
For example, in middle school, Palazzotto, of Oakdale, wrote an essay about a personal experience that was able to bring her teacher to tears. The teacher shared the essay with all of her students and it is something she continues to do every year, said Emily’s mother, Kara.
In her freshman year at Connetquot High School, Emily recalled stumbling across journalism as a potential career that would allow her to tie in her other interests, such as dance and cheerleading.
Now 17 and an incoming senior, current events motivate Emily to write, whether it’s regarding a personal issue or something happening in the world around her. “20/20” and crime shows serve as inspiration, she said.
The most influential people in Emily’s encourage her to try new things and connect to people who work in the journalism and communications fields. They describe her as an adventurous, ambitious and caring young woman.
“Once you become a part of her life she opens her heart to you and there is nothing that she won’t do for you,” said Kara Palazzotto. “She will put herself aside to be there for someone whether it’s for the good or the bad.”
Emily’s friend, Alexa Dowling, 17, of Ronkonkoma, also sees her as a motivated writer in and outside of school.
“She always puts so much effort in everything she does, especially her school work. I know that a career in journalism will be a perfect fit for her.”
Emily said she is eager to explore different dimensions of journalism in college–including broadcasting and writing–while also combining her love for criminal law.
She intends on going into law school and travel the world.
“By traveling, I get to encounter more people and more experiences. It will give me more insight into the world and other cultures, and could only build up my character,” Emily said.
But all of Emily’s interests tie back to journalism and storytelling.
Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists came as a surprise presented to the class by her AP English Language and Composition teacher. She said she was thrilled to be accepted and optimistic that the program would “lead to so many amazing opportunities and experiences.”