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.

Taylor Yon: Eyeing an FBI career

By Sebastian Germosen
Archbishop Molloy High School

Taylor Yon wants to perfect her journalism skills and use them for a career in the FBI.

“I have always had a passion for writing, and I enjoy putting all of my thoughts on paper, and journalism gave me the opportunity to write in a way that could be read and informing,” said the 16-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Taylor’s experience in high school, scene of a massacre in  February, has driven her desire to become a part of the FBI.

Though she has no role models in the journalism industry, Taylor admires and respects The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. She also watches CNN for news and inspiration for her writing.

Taylor has achieved academic success in high school, where she has taken advanced classes such as AP World History and French 2. This year, she will take AP Biology, AP Psychology and AP Language Arts. She said that these subjects will help “broaden my horizon.”

Taylor writes for her school newspaper, Eagle Eye. She is active in health and fitness clubs and enjoys many hobbies and activities, including soccer and tennis, taking hot yoga classes with her best friend and reading.

Taylor’s friends describe her as very outgoing and adventurous, due to her love of trying new  things. Her friends go to her for help with all academic subjects except for math. Taylor’s family [Note: all, who?]  describes her as a person who loves to travel and broaden her horizons by learning about different cultures.

Despite her interest in writing, Taylor wants to attend the University of Maryland or Penn State and major in criminal justice to achieve her goal of becoming an FBI agent.

Attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas — where a gunman killed 17 students and faculty — hasn’t been easy for the students, including Taylor. She has used the shooting as an opportunity to expand her interest in journalism and writes stories beyond the scope of her school.

“The whole world was looking to us, and journalism was an outlet that showed the world we are more than a school shooting,” Taylor said.

When asked about her stance on gun control after the shooting, she said her belief is that people should not have access to assault rifles unless they are in law enforcement.

“I am not anti all guns,” she said. “I strongly believe in the Second Amendment as well, but assault rifles to me are a weapon of war and all they do is cause mass destruction to our country.”

Taylor sees the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists as a great opportunity for her to showcase her passion for journalism and to learn new things about the industry. Taylor learned about the program when her newspaper adviser, Melissa Falkowski, told her and her friend Zoe Gordon about it.

“I was and still am so excited to learn and grow from this program,” Taylor said. “I want to learn as much as I can while I’m there.”

Welcome Greene Team 2018!

Welcome to the home of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists!

Our tenth year is off to a great start, with students from high schools on Long Island, New York City and Parkland, Florida. They were accepted into the program because they all have already produced great work for their schools in the spirit of pioneering Newsday investigative reporter and editor Robert W. Greene, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a founding faculty member of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism.

Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

Meet the 2018 Greene Team:

Inna Ali – Secondary School for Journalism
Adeishe Bagaloo – Uniondale HS
Emily Bishop – The Stony Brook School
Jianni Burnett – The Scholars’ Academy
Jennifer Cirigliano – W.C.Mepham High School
Brianna Depra – Hempstead HS
Brianna Diane Foster – Smithtown High School East
Emanuel Figetakis – Francis Lewis High School
Sebastian Germosen – Archbishop Molloy HS
Zoe Gordon – Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Corianna Jackson – Brentwood High School
Yash Kumar – Jericho High School
Caroline Ledoux – Roosevelt HS
Christian Miller – St John the Baptist
Lauren Nicks – Baldwin Senior High School
Julianna R. Orkin – West Islip High School
Emily Palazzotto – Connetquot High School
Matthew Quan – Longwood High School
Meghan Reilly – Westhampton Beach High School
Rachel Schneider – Great Neck South High School
Parker Schug – Bayport-Blue Point High School
Chelsea Sibri – The Scholars’ Academy
Laila Stevens – Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
Taylor Yon – Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Nijha A.Young – Baldwin Senior High School

Each Greene Team member in Summer 2018 will work in the School of Journalism Newsroom on breaking news stories that will require them to perform key journalistic tasks on all media platforms including writing news stories, taking photographs, producing, shooting and editing video, conducting an interview, addressing a newsmaker at a press conference, posting text and images to a blog or website and covering a speech. Each student will also work in Stony Brook’s television news studio operating a teleprompter, appearing live in front of a camera at the anchor’s desk or reporting live as an on-air television correspondent.

By the end of our weeklong workshop, each participant will work in a team on various multimedia assignments that will be posted here. Students will be blogging throughout the program also.

We invite you to explore the site to see the fine work the students produce!

–  Zack and Cathrine