Meghan Reilly: Poet, photographer and journalist

By Manoli Figetakis
Francis Lewis High School

Even as a young child, Meghan Reilly dreamed of being a journalist. The 17-year-old senior at Westhampton Beach High School has been working toward her goal.

Reilly is a member of her high school’s poetry club, Seascapes. The club’s goal is to create a literary magazine at the end of each school year.

“I also have been photographer since seventh grade,” she said.

Meghan was thrilled to find out about a Stony Brook University program called the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. Although she was very nervous that she wasn’t going to get in, she was “super excited” when she was accepted.

“When I got the phone call, I was trying not to scream,” Meghan said. “My parents were standing next to me on speaker and very excited.”

Her parents, David and Theresa, are very proud of her. “They always wanted me to be a writer/journalist,” Meghan said.

In fact, they inspired her to develop her love for writing since she was five, when she began writing her own personal books. Later on in middle school, she joined her school paper.

“I loved every second,” Meghan said.

Being in the poetry club and attending a journalism class have helped Meghan improve her writing. She also took an English class, which turned out to be her favorite class. Her work became more organized and straight to the point, and she began to understand the different styles and techniques of writing.

Meghan was able to work for her high school newspaper and attend her poetry class. But she said she believed her journalism class and English class have helped her develop her skills in interviewing and researching  skills that are necessary to journalism.

“I developed my love for writing and taking photos and realizing that what I like doing was known as journalism,” she said.

Meghan’s journalism teacher, Mrs. Kirsten Mett, admired Meghan schoolwork. Meghan’s friends also saw that she is a great photographer and writer.

“Meghan is known as the writer in the club and in journalism class,” said her friend Kaitlyn Maschke. “If anybody needs proofreading or advice with something as a simple as an e-mail or an article piece, she’s the one to ask.”

Meghan said she is determined to study journalism in college.

“This summer will be my first time pursuing journalism and getting to know exactly what it entails,” she said of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. “This opportunity, I know I’ll leave having more knowledge about the field and the experience than I ever will have.”

Forging Forever Friendships on Day Two

Though the day was slow and sweaty, I can more than safely say that it was one of the best  I’ve had in my entire life. Having the opportunity to learn photography from a Pulitzer prize winner and videography from a professor here at Stony Brook is something that I will forever be grateful for. This experience is a complete honor, and what we learned in the newsroom today was amazing. The friends I’ve made within the program are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, and it already feels like I’ve known each and every one of them for a lifetime. The fact that we all share one common interest is what unites us, and just like the inverted pyramid, our love for journalism is the most important aspect of our friendship. It’s what brings us together as a family and as we go further down the pyramid, we learn about the little things that we have in common with each other. For instance, my roommate and I both sleep with stuffed animals. I was secretly afraid to bring mine with me in fear of being judged, but when I saw a teddy bear sitting on her bed, I mentioned it and we both laughed. Another way we’ve been getting to know each other is by hosting little “slumber parties” in the basement. Each night, we invite everyone into someone’s room and we play different icebreaking games; as a result, we find out what others like to do for fun, what our lives are like at our own schools, and more. I’m extremely thankful to be a member of the Greene Team, and I’m also extremely thankful for my fellow Greene Team members as well as the people who taught us so many new things about photography and videography today. I can’t wait for what the next five days will bring!