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.”

Rain or shine, Ducks fans storm Bethpage Ballpark

Empty stands at the Long Island Ducks game on Wednesday night. Only some super fans were in attendance due to the rained out game on Tuesday. (Christian Miller)

By Rachel Schneider
Great Neck South High School

Stephen Watkin was set to see the Long Island Ducks take on the Connecticut New Britain Bees with his wife, Paulette, on Tuesday – until it was postponed due to torrential rain. The weather was still on his mind when he returned to Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip for the rescheduled game Wednesday.

“We pick an under hang so we are dry no matter how hard it rains,” said Watkin, who comes to about 10 games a season.

U.S. Army veteran Padraic Nugent, 83, of Massapequa, a fan of the Ducks for the last six years, said he was also planning to come on Tuesday, but was pleased the game had been postponed.

A typical Ducks game this season has around 4,854 tickets sold, and 677 games have been sold out since the Ducks were founded in 1998, according to Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting.

Wednesday’s game had 4,952 tickets sold, but the stands were relatively empty and concession lines were short.

Bear Court cashier Emma Garguilo said the game rescheduling led to reduced sales.

“It’s not that busy,” said Garguilo. “I’ve gotten maybe 30 [customers] and on a regular day there would be like 60.”

Like Watkin, Kathy Fels, who was decked out in a green sparkling top hat with “GO DUCKS” written across the top and clover glasses in honor of Irish Night, is willing to tolerate some rain for the love of the game.

“It depends on what kind of rain it’s going to be,” Fels said. “Obviously, last night it was more stormy. But if it’s just a little drizzle, you come anyway. Worse-case scenario, you sit up at the top.”

Adeishe Bagaloo contributed to this report.

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.”

A great start

The Greene Institute is off to a great start, as we are all already learning and taking in valuable lessons. This morning, bright and early, we began with news over breakfast and some discussions about articles we read. Our first lesson covered an overview of journalism tips and some skills to conduct great interviews. Up next is a special opportunity to work one on one with a professional to edit our profiles that we worked on before arriving on campus. I am especially looking forward to the great article ideas we brainstormed last night and are going to be producing over this week.