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.”