Caroline Ledoux: An international journalism journey

By Rachel Schneider
Great Neck South High School

Caroline Ledoux has lived in France, Miami, Queens and now Long Island. She has also traveled to Canada, Belgium, French Guyana, Suriname and Germany.

All of which have provided the 17-year-old Roosevelt High School senior unique and diverse life experiences that have shaped her writing and photography.

“I see myself as journalist because I have always had a curious spirit,” Caroline explained.

She speaks French, which is her first language; German, which she learned at school in France; Creole, which she learned communicating with her grandmother in Miami; and English, as well, as when she came to the United States. Furthermore, she has also picked up some Spanish throughout her world journeys. Her ability to communicate in at least four different languages has helped satisfy her curiosity and has been a vehicle for Caroline to learn about others. Caroline is most interested in writing articles about topics that she can personally relate to and that can have an impact on others, especially other teens. “I have always loved asking questions to people about what they do, why they do it and what they get from doing what they do,” she said.

According to Caroline’s mother, Lunie Nelson, two words to describe her are “emotional and intuitive.”

Her interest in professional journalism was sparked by taking a media and communications class followed by advanced media her sophomore year. During these classes, Caroline realized her true passion was in photography and videography. “My favorite activity was when we would have to get out of the class and take pictures or video,” she said. “I realized that I love taking pictures of moments.”

Her cousin, Henry Nelson, said, “Her pictures are filled with so many wonderful opportunities.”

Caroline, an international traveler, is also an international athlete. She has played badminton, been captain of a European handball team, run track and now plays lacrosse for her high school.

Caroline will begin writing for her school newspaper next year and she hopes to expand her writing skill set and gain more experience while at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for Journalists. When she was informed of her acceptance to the program, she said she was “excited that the work I had put in was worth it and for the opportunity to better myself.”

Rachel Schneider: A curious, adventurous journalist

By Caroline Ledoux
Roosevelt High School

She may not know where she wants to go to college, but 17-year-old Rachel Schneider has no doubt about which career she will pursue. She is desperate to make an impact on society, and that’s where her interest in journalism comes from.

“Journalism allows me to foster my great curiosity and interest in current events in combination with my enthusiasm for writing,” the Great Neck South High School senior said.

Rachel’s mother, Debbie Schneider, said she’s always had a zest for life. She describes her daughter as “adventurous, hard-working and loquacious.” Her mother also said she’s inquisitive and honest.

Rachel said she’s passionate in everything she does. She’s proven her passion through her commitment to local media.

“I put a 100 percent effort in everything I do,” she said.

Rachel developed her love for writing in the ninth grade while producing entertainment, news and arts stories for the school newspaper, The Southerner. She is currently the editor-in-chief and section editor. She previously wrote for her local newspaper, The Great Neck Record, and is currently an intern at her local TV station, the Public Access TV.

Rachel credits her writing ability to the support of her family and her journalism teacher, Jennifer Hastings. “Ms. Hastings taught me everything I know,” Rachel said.

Besides writing, one of Rachel’s major interests is food. She owns an Instagram account entirely dedicated to her love of food. Her Instagram account, @_thefoodstagram, has over 1,000 followers and she uploads content daily. “My Instagram relates to my love of journalism because I love writing about food,” Rachel said.

Rachel said she believes that journalists play an integral and interesting part in American society today. As a journalist, she said, “you are given the responsibility to share news and inform the world in a compelling yet objective way. A journalist must [share information] in order to allow the public to form their own opinions.”

She believes that the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists, which she found while searching online for a journalism internship, will be a stepping stone in furthering her knowledge of journalism and pursuing her career aspirations.

“This internship,” she said, “will give me the opportunity to share, learn and work with different students who all share the same passion.”

Day three and four

On day three, we started by taking portraits using the still camera. Then we learned more about how to shoot videos by doing mini-videos. One thing that I understood is that you can’t just point and shoot. You have to really think about how you want to tell a story using photos and videos. It was not as easy as it looks. That day is the day that I started getting used to news over breakfast. In the beginning, it was uncomfortable to have a large paper on the table next to my food.

Our fourth day was my favorite. We had the opportunity to put together a newscast. learning with professionals. On the broadcast, you had two anchors making an announcement. Then the anchors introduced the reporter as well the weather person. There were several jobs done to accomplish one broadcast. Being in those seats was an immense privilege. I got to be the anchor and the camera girl. I also got to work in the control room to do some of the “behind-the-scenes” work. It was impressive to see the amount of work needed to do a two-minute newscast.

We then went to Newsday to see how a real newsroom works and all that goes into producing a newspaper. After that, we went to Bethpage Ballpark to conduct field work for stories on the Long Island Ducks. My team chose to cover the summer jobs opportunities at the Stadium.

It was really entertaining to walk around the stadium and find opportunities to take a shot of something or someone.

Day Two

Our second day at the program was pretty intense but also very interesting. I own a camera, and I have never thought of all the different step you had to go through to take a picture. I would usually just set my camera on automatic and let it do all the work for me. Today was totally different. I had to worry about ISO, shutter speed, and F-stop all at once — it was compelling. After being outside taking pictures, we went back inside to observe and see what we had to improve. In my case, it was on the lighting. My pictures were over exposed.

Another category we worked on today was videography. A motto that we have been introduced to was “action, reaction,” which is to capture someone taking a picture by example, and then capture what they take in the picture. It was truly exciting to have a hands-on experience of the topics we heard our professors spend so much time talking about. Before all that, we were briefly introduced to reporting and interviewing.

This picture shows the main issue that I had when I started using the camera. My pictures were over exposed. (photo by Caroline Ledoux)