By Alexandra Weldon
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School
David Wang had little interest in journalism until seeing a pamphlet advertising his middle school newspaper.
Part of the reason why the 15-year-old rising junior at Great Neck South High School went to his first newspaper club meeting was because they promised to have candy and snacks. He joked that he “went for the candy and stayed for the journalism.”
During his time at the Middleview Newspaper, he came to a better understanding of how much work and personal effort is put into creating articles. David was also introduced to the concept of a “real-world deadline”. Before, he would write articles just for the fun of it.
“I wouldn’t say that I learned a lot of technical stuff during my time with the middle school newspaper,” he said. “But it did awaken something in me and helped me to realize that I really enjoyed journalism.”
David is currently section and managing editor of his school’s newspaper, The Southerner.
“He has always liked writing,” David’s mother, Sheree, said. “He had a very good [elementary school] teacher called Ms. Kay who taught him how to write poems and essays and stories. She was great and helped him to write uniquely.”
In addition to Ms. Kay’s teaching, David’s English teacher of the past year, Ms. Walter, had given weekly writing assignments requiring him to respond to different journal prompts. “I wrote several horrendous poems and short stories,” David recalled.“In retrospect, those journal assignments really helped me to step out of my comfort zone as a writer and pursue avenues that I felt inspired by.”
In addition to journalism, David also has an interest in biology and fencing—the latter of which he jokingly referred to as “the socially acceptable form of lightsaber dueling.”
David’s family has been a great supporter of his interests and aspirations. Born in New Jersey, David has lived on Long Island since the age of six, residing in Great Neck with his mom, dad and little sister, Diana. His parents are first-generation immigrants, his mom from Taiwan and his dad from China, who came to America around the same age he is now. They frequently took David to the library, which led him to develop his affinity for reading and writing.
David is more enthusiastic than ever about journalism, and is especially excited to be part of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. He hopes his experience during the week will help to improve his abilities as a writer and journalist. He also looks forward to meeting new people with similar interests and having a good overall experience.
“I often worry too much about the end results,” David said, “so I want to focus on enjoying the process and making the most of my week.”