From doubter to doer

Throughout this week, I’ve been surprised by how much of a fun and enriching learning experience it’s been. The program was meticulously planned, teaching us all aspects of journalism.

Learning the stressful and fast-paced field of news broadcasting has been particularly memorable. We learned the logistics of being in front of and behind the camera. I was engrossed in how the control room works. Each individual has dozens of buttons to press at various times, and they have to communicate with others in the room and to the cameraman at the film site.

We reported on the Long Island Ducks as they played the New Britain Bees Wednesday. Photo by Yash Kumar. (July 18, 2018)

I was surprised how many people are actually needed to tell the evening news, and how crucial each person is to the whole production.

Another highlight of my week here at Stony Brook was when we attended the Long Island Ducks game. It was a stressful time, trying to film people in the gift shop for B-roll, finding good candidates for interviews and getting the spelling of every person interviewed. When we finally finished reporting, I was able to get food and sit down with my friends Matt Quanand and Sebastian Germosen and watch the closing moments of the game.

Regarding leisure time, I am going to miss the dorm life and all of the friends I have made. Whether it was playing cards in the lounge late at night or eating breakfast and telling jokes, I’ve created strong friendships that would usually take months to develop. Coming into the program, I was shy and scared to open up, but things improved rapidly, and I’ve made very close friends in Matt and Sebastian. We soon found out about our many common interests, from sports to social media. Soon, I was comfortable around everyone on the team.

I’ve had great learning experiences with some kind and helpful experts in various journalism fields. I’ve also made several friends who brought out the best of me, and the program. I hope to apply this knowledge in my school’s newspaper and also keep in touch with many of my friends in the program.

Brianna Depra: A rising drama journalist

By Yash Kumar
Jericho High School

Brianna Depra’s dream of becoming a journalist started with her passion for literature at a young age.

“Every time there was a book fair at school, I would always get so excited and stock up on books,” she said.

Classics including the Goosebumps books inspired her to start writing. Brianna created stories with themes including love, mystery and horror. Brianna didn’t want to just write as a hobby; she wanted to explore careers in writing. In her freshman year, Brianna became aware of journalism as a profession and was eager to learn more about it. Unfortunately, there weren’t any journalism classes or a school newspaper at Hempstead High School.

So she began to write in another medium — plays. In her sophomore year, she became fascinated with theater. Brianna was inspired by many of Shakespeares works and wrote monologues and scripts for the drama club when she wasn’t competing on the school’s swimming team.

Brianna received much encouragement from her AP English Language teacher, Felisha Prince, who encouraged her “to step out of my comfort zone,” Brianna said.

“Not only did I write stories and monologues, I started writing poems, biographies, and experiences,” Brianna said. “She showed me how to write with purpose, showing me how powerful diction and syntax is. Because of this AP class, my writing has improved so much.”

Just when Brianna believed she wouldn’t have any journalism experience in high school, Prince helped Brianna one last time before her junior year came to a close. Her teacher informed her of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists at Stony Brook University.

“I jumped at this opportunity,” Brianna said.

When she learned that she had been accepted into the program, her father, Ramon Depra, shared her excitement.

“When she told me about the journalism program, I knew this would be amazing for her because it will challenge her,” he said. “She is always writing, so a career in journalism is perfect for her.”

“I knew I wanted to be a part of this program because journalism is something I want to explore,” Brianna said. “Maybe I can report on plays and musicals. That’s a dream of mine.”