Parker Schug: Born leader and writer

By Chelsea Sibri
The Scholars’ Academy

From a young age, 17-year-old Blue Point native Parker Schug has had a deep admiration for the craft of writing.

“Parker has always loved reading and writing,” Parker’s mother, Stacey Schug, said. “Every time we have ever taken a trip, she would bring her composition notebook and write about the adventure we had that day. She is a great listener and thinks even an opposing view can open her eyes on her beliefs.”

Schug’s love of writing led her to decide in the eighth grade to become a journalist. She created a newspaper for her high school — Bayport-Blue Point High School — with the help of her creative writing teacher. She said that her writing skills blossomed after she started writing for her own blog and for the Paris-based magazine Grumpy. She also attended the 2017 Washington Journalism Conference at George Mason University, where she delved into political journalism.

Schug said she keeps an open mind in her search for the perfect branch of journalism for her future.

“As I learn more about journalism, I realize there is just so much to it,” Schug said. “I’m just not 100 percent certain. But I really like talking to people and learning from people through hearing their stories. So I think that I’d like to do something where I’m interviewing others.”

She also hopes to use journalism to teach herself and others about diverse groups of people.

Though she participates in several extracurricular activities, she is most proud of her skill at tennis.

“Tennis has been my favorite sport for most of my life, and it’s something that I’ve worked hard at getting better at for years,” she said.

Schug coaches tennis in her free time. Although she considered playing tennis professionally, Schug decided to place all of her focus in a journalistic career instead.

She keeps a very close connection with her family especially with her two younger brothers, Kieran and Declan, despite her hectic schedule.

“Since we were little, my brothers and I were raised to be best friends as we are,” Schug said. “At times, it’s been hard for me because some of my friends don’t understand why I want to stay in certain nights to hang out with my family, but I couldn’t be more grateful that I was raised the way I was.”

When Schug was accepted into the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists, she was most excited to get her hands on broadcasting equipment and to experience the cutthroat work demands of the program. Although she was nervous about finding areas of journalism she does not favor, she acknowledged that the field of journalism offers a wide variety of career opportunities.

“There are so many ways you could go with journalism,” she said. “My excitement overrides my nervousness.”

Stacey recalled the way her daughter’s writing helped her family heal when illness once struck her family. Shortly after Parker’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer, Parker received an assignment at school in which she was to write about a vivid memory of each year of her life. She took this as an opportunity to write about her family’s memories and hardships at the time to lift her relatives’ spirits.

After writing the piece, Parker decided to share it with her family. Stacey recalled it was a “love story to our entire family.”

“That’s the day I knew Parker should be a journalist,” Stacey said. “She kind of wrapped up our hard times and gave us all closure, and I felt like we moved forward that day.”

Bethpage Park summer jobs offer variety, community connection      

Concession stand employees work at Bethpage Ballpark, July 18, 2018, in Central Islip. (Photo by Caroline Ledoux.)

By Parker Schug
Bayport-Blue Point High School

and Zoe Gordon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

A man in an orange shirt selling Quacker whistles. A woman cheering when a fan wins a raffle prize. A teen walking up and down the aisles selling cotton candy to children in the stands. These are some of the summer employees you may see at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, home to the Long Island Ducks.

“We have 72 home games during the course of the season, so we need a good amount of people to fill roles,” said Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting. “These roles include everything from ushers to on-field hosts.”

Whether it’s the advantage of watching your favorite sports team, making money, working with friends, or simply just getting experience, some teens believe that taking a summer job at the baseball park is an obvious idea.

“I think it’s cool because if you work at a sporting event it’s the benefit of working and having fun,” Stephan Schmitt, an 18-year-old Ducks fan from Roosevelt, said Wednesday. “It’s also really important to get experience working.”

The Ducks hire about 250 employees each season. Many are young adults hoping to work their way up in the sports business, according to Michael Pfaff, president and general manager of the Ducks.

“What you’ll see with a lot of the full-time positions in sports is it’s very hard to land a good internship, and it’s hard to land a good internship without exposure in an organization,” Pfaff said. “It’s a good first step.”

Waddle In employees Melissa Kelly (L) and Kelly Conway sell souvenirs at Bethpage Ballpark, on July 18, 2018, in Central Islip. (Photo by Caroline Ledoux.)

Many employees are brought into the Ducks’ staff through the annual job fair, which was held on March 3.

Polak said that, along with being passionate about working for the Ducks, aspiring employees should strive to be diverse in their skill set.

“The more versatile they are, the more intriguing they are as an employee for the Ducks,” Polak said.

Fans Colleen Schalk and Allison Caminiti, whose daughters performed in an Irish dance routine in honor of Irish Night, described employees at Bethpage Ballpark as “very helpful.”

“They are all very friendly and polite,” Schalk said.

Former on-field host Robert Shapiro, 49, of Hicksville, who worked for the team in 2000 and 2001, said the job was a thrill. “I was performing in front of 6,000 fans. If I was 23 at the time and not married, I’d probably still be working there.”