The last day of something special

Today is the last day of a week that has changed my life. This week has changed my view of news, it has taught me writing, photojournalism and television journalism. I have met great people that made this week entertaining, enjoyable and unforgettable. I created relationships with people that would take other people months to create. And, I bonded with people that I thought I’d never have the opportunity to, such as Taylor Yon and Zoe Gordon. With what they experienced in Parkland, Florida, their openness is inspiring to me.

The team I was a part of in creating TV packages, stories and pictures was a great group of people to be around and we got a lot of work done. It was amazing to learn about things that I didn’t have interest in, such as photography and TV journalism, but John Williams and Rick Ricioppo really opened my eyes about those things and they have piqued my interest in becoming a photojournalist or broadcast journalist.

The coordinators, Cathrine and Zach, were two of the best people I have ever met. I learned so much about them, their careers in journalism and news in general. They really helped us express our ideas, develop our stories and become real journalists. Their speech in our last dinner together really made this week fully special and it summarized how great of a week we had. I really appreciate their dedication and hard work for us, the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists.

Overall, this week was an unforgettable journey of friendships, hard work, dedication and a jumpstart to a life of journalism.


The lucky ducks on assignment at the ballpark

QuakerJack brings the luck to the Ducks

Our first journalism assignment was to report on the Long Island Ducks, an independent minor baseball league team. It was Irish Night, and my job was photography. It was really cool. I took pictures of fans dressed in Irish colors, the singer of the national anthem and the Ducks mascot, QuackerJack.

I was a part of Team 1 and I think we did a great job on out story about Irish Night. We interviewed the manger of media relations for the Ducks, the general manager and fans. QuakerJack gave me a high five.

Overall, the night was really fun, especially the bus drive with Matt, Yash and one of the advisers we met, Hallie.

John Williams: A photography legend

This is a photo I took of flowers on the campus of Stony Brook University after getting instructions from John Williams, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who works at Newsday.

Before this week, photography was not interesting or appealing to me at all. That all changed when John Williams came to the Greene Institute and taught us how to handle a camera and take professional photos. He taught us about ISO, shutter speed and f-stop. He showed us his own photos, which were really interesting. I was especially interested in the ones about baseball because I love the game.

Williams really opened my eyes about photo journalism and has completely changed my mind about photography. When he sent us out for practice, I was partnered with Matt and Yash, who I feel have been friends for a long time, even though we have just met.

Learning about photography from Williams was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Maybe if I become a journalist, photography can be one of my main interests.

Taylor Yon: Eyeing an FBI career

By Sebastian Germosen
Archbishop Molloy High School

Taylor Yon wants to perfect her journalism skills and use them for a career in the FBI.

“I have always had a passion for writing, and I enjoy putting all of my thoughts on paper, and journalism gave me the opportunity to write in a way that could be read and informing,” said the 16-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Taylor’s experience in high school, scene of a massacre in  February, has driven her desire to become a part of the FBI.

Though she has no role models in the journalism industry, Taylor admires and respects The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. She also watches CNN for news and inspiration for her writing.

Taylor has achieved academic success in high school, where she has taken advanced classes such as AP World History and French 2. This year, she will take AP Biology, AP Psychology and AP Language Arts. She said that these subjects will help “broaden my horizon.”

Taylor writes for her school newspaper, Eagle Eye. She is active in health and fitness clubs and enjoys many hobbies and activities, including soccer and tennis, taking hot yoga classes with her best friend and reading.

Taylor’s friends describe her as very outgoing and adventurous, due to her love of trying new  things. Her friends go to her for help with all academic subjects except for math. Taylor’s family [Note: all, who?]  describes her as a person who loves to travel and broaden her horizons by learning about different cultures.

Despite her interest in writing, Taylor wants to attend the University of Maryland or Penn State and major in criminal justice to achieve her goal of becoming an FBI agent.

Attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas — where a gunman killed 17 students and faculty — hasn’t been easy for the students, including Taylor. She has used the shooting as an opportunity to expand her interest in journalism and writes stories beyond the scope of her school.

“The whole world was looking to us, and journalism was an outlet that showed the world we are more than a school shooting,” Taylor said.

When asked about her stance on gun control after the shooting, she said her belief is that people should not have access to assault rifles unless they are in law enforcement.

“I am not anti all guns,” she said. “I strongly believe in the Second Amendment as well, but assault rifles to me are a weapon of war and all they do is cause mass destruction to our country.”

Taylor sees the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists as a great opportunity for her to showcase her passion for journalism and to learn new things about the industry. Taylor learned about the program when her newspaper adviser, Melissa Falkowski, told her and her friend Zoe Gordon about it.

“I was and still am so excited to learn and grow from this program,” Taylor said. “I want to learn as much as I can while I’m there.”

Breakfast, news, Phil and Bill, Trump and Putin, and Greene

It’s good to be Greene. Today is the first day and I’m excited. Breakfast was good, especially while reading the news, which is usually what I do every day. I’ve met great people and I already feel like I’ve known them for so long.

Today we talked about interviewing skills with Zach and general information about news with Cathrine. We met Phil, who seemed like a really cool guy, and Bill, the editor of our profiles. I write this blog, thinking about the Trump and Putin summit and MLB All-Star Week.