Gun reform activists plan rally on July 29

Caroline Suozzi (center) with Sarah Silverstein (right) and Andrew Goldman (left) from Rep. Thomas Suizzui’s office are planning a gun reform rally on July 29th. (Photo by Caroline Ledoux)

By Zoe Gordon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

On a small Pacific island named Yap, where Rep. Thomas Suozzi’s daughter was educating children, Caroline Suozzi and her students were inspired by the activism they saw in the United States after the shooting in Parkland, Florida. When they read about current events, Caroline Suozzi felt as if the whole world was watching change being made.

“We were told very often about gun violence in the United States,” she said. “They were so inspired that young people were taking action.”

After the Parkland tragedy in February, Suozzi felt a strong connection with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She saw students standing up to politicians, fighting for their right to live.

“The whole world is paying attention,” she said.

While students from Parkland were planning the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., a group of student activists, along with Suozzi and her father, were creating a sister march in Long Island. More than 1,500 people attended the Long Island rally on March 24, and they advocated for gun reform and safety in schools.

“After Parkland, I knew I had to do something,” student activist and recent Syosset High School graduate Andrew Goldman said. “As students, we are turning our thoughts and prayers into action for change. We’re pulling out every stop.”

After the protest, the Long Island activists wanted to continue the momentum, Carolyn Suozzi said.

“They came back and said we want to to keep this conversation going,” she added. “This time it’s a call to action. It’s also to emphasize the importance of registering to vote.”

Caroline Suozzi and Long Island students are planning a rally in Breezy Park, Huntington, on July 29 to coincide with the Road to Change rallies created by March for Our Lives activists. The rally will feature two speakers from the families of student Jaime Guttenberg and teacher and coach, Scott Beigel, who both had Long Island connections and were killed in the Parkland shooting.

The key emphasis of this rally will be to register and motivate young adults to vote. The organizers of the rally are using social media and putting up flyers in every town in Thomas Suozzi’s district, hoping to attract a thousand people.

“The way to bring about change is voting,” said Sarah Silverstein, of the Thomas Suozzi campaign team.

Adeishe Bagaloo: Working on projecting her voice

By Zoe Gordon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

After a teacher helped her realize that she had potential as a writer, Adeishe Bagaloo soon found a passion for the craft.

The 17-year-old Uniondale High School student applied for the Robert W. Greene High School Summer Institute for High School Journalists, hoping to transform her writing skills into journalism.

“I did a writing piece in my Microsoft Office class and my teacher was impressed with it,” Bagaloo said. “I got an email from my teacher telling me how good it was and I was kind of surprised. She encouraged me to go and apply for the program.”

Despite the encouragement by teachers and family members, she remains insecure about her writing. Part of the explanation is that she moved from the island of Jamaica a year ago. “I grew up in Jamaica and we learn the English that is found in Great Britain, which is different than the one found in America,” Bagaloo said. “It has different spelling, and I believe that it’s more difficult than the English in America. When I moved here, I found the language to be so different . . . than I’m used to so it puts a lot of stress on me.”

So Bagaloo leans on her mother, close friends and teachers to help her gain confidence in her writing. “I do not necessarily believe in my writing abilities, but the people around me have helped me to believe in it and realize that I’m actually a good writer,” Bagaloo said.

Bagaloo’s favorite writing topics are current events and issues that go unrecognized in the media. Her favorite story was her own autobiography discussing topics to which she wanted to give a voice. “I would state how the voice of the people matters to me and journalism can help me to get the voice of the people out there,” she said. “One of these topics that I want to make heard is the crime rate. There are certain things that are happening that you can’t really understand why it is happening. If I can go out there and talk to different people about the issue hopefully the world can find the root of the issue and hopefully come up with strategies to fix it.”

Crime and current issues are not the only subjects that interest Bagaloo. “I’m interested in health and beauty,” she said. “I think that journalism could help me get out there and give people different advice on health, beauty, self-improvement and mental health.”

In addition to writing, Bagaloo has always loved acting in school plays. She sees many similarities between the two fields. “In acting, you have to project your voice to the audience,” she said. “In journalism, using this technique helps you to be bold; you go out to talk to people and gather information when you wouldn’t normally do that in your everyday life.”

As for a dream career, Bagaloo feels torn between acting and journalism. By attending the Greene program and taking her school’s journalism course in the fall, Bagaloo hopes to find a clear path to what she aspires to do in her future.

“I hope that I can grasp a lot of knowledge from the program,” Bagaloo said, “and identify if I have a passion for journalism — if it’s for me or not for me.”

‘Yep, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life’

The entrance at Newsday in Melville displays the logos of the company’s various outlets. Photo by Zoe Gordon. (July 18, 2018)

 

Today was one of my favorite days so far in this program. We started out learning everything about broadcast journalism, from the control room to the anchor desk.

TV journalism was definitely something I had hoped to learn about here. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed being on air and working behind the scenes in the control room. When I was anchoring, I had a clear thought in my head of, “Yep, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Later in the day, we toured Newsday. Being a Florida native, I did not really know what Newsday was or how big it was before coming to Long Island. The thing I found most interesting is how much history Newsday has as a company. I also thought it was pretty awesome that Newsday was founded by a woman.

Lastly, we had the Ducks game. It was so much fun, but also stressful to find people to interview. I think my group changed our story idea five times. However, in the end we were able to conduct good interviews, film lots of B-role and just have fun. I was able to figure out things I have never done before at my school, like filming videos and taking pictures.

I also had the best time just hanging out with the friends I have made just days ago. I had no idea that I would make such good friends in the short week we have at Stony Brook. So far, my experience would not be the same without them.

Learning about conducting a perfect interview

Waking up at 6 A.M. today did not feel so good. However, after eating a quick breakfast, my brain finally had some power to push through the day.

We went to the newsroom for the first time this morning and began learning all things regarding interviewing. Something that caught my eye that I wrote down during the lesson was to always take notes during an interview so you don’t ever have to rely on your recording. Zach said recorders are not always reliable 100 percent of the time. Plus, it takes a good deal of time to transcribe recordings.

Another thing that I took note of was to always be a gracious host when conducting interviews. We watched a video on Katie Couric, a well-known and respected reporter, discuss how she conducts the perfect interview. She said that she always tries to act warm and friendly when meeting her subject. However, Couric said she changes her tone and the way she speaks depending on who the subject is.