By Lily McInerney
Irvington High School
At the age of five, Mia D’Alessandro was writing stories anywhere she could. Whether she was sprawled out on her kitchen floor or draped on the couch in her basement, Mia always had a story to tell.
Now Mia’s drive and love for writing have taken her from her kitchen floor to a newsroom at Stony Brook University.
“I want to be able to express my creativity whether it be through creative writing or any type of writing,” said Mia, a 17-year-old rising senior at Huntington High School. “Seeing my thoughts go into the world and then noticing what everyone else thinks is really valuable to me.”
Mia was raised in Huntington and attributes her writing success to that. She feels that the community helped to shape her identity because of the friendliness of her neighbors and the diversity of her high school.
Mia’s mom, Grace D’Alessandro, said, “I think [writing is] her way of relaxing by creating her own world. It’s done in a quiet setting which is calming, and expressing her thoughts and feelings…may help her relieve stress.”
When Mia isn’t writing, she’s doing something artistic—painting, sketching and dabbling in graphic design—adding to her diverse palette.
In her junior year, Mia took an AP Seminar class in which she was able to choose a research topic, conduct extensive research and question her teacher.
Although Mia views herself as being a bit shy, she really enjoyed the class because she learned how to collaborate instead of working alone—her usual writing routine.
“I got to connect with adults and peers,” she said. “Because I’m pretty introverted it was helpful to be in a class where I learned the value of everyone’s opinions.”
In addition, AP Seminar exposed her to a more journalistic style of writing that she enjoyed, which gave her the idea that journalism could be a career for her.
Mia’s boyfriend, mom and older sister have all seen her gravitating towards journalism, which they consider a good career possibility for her because she’s a creative person who is always ready to combine her interests and delve into new ones.
“She has always enjoyed writing stories, poems and essays,” said Foster Sullivan, her boyfriend of almost three years. “Mia feels that journalism is a new form of storytelling that combines videography—and at times graphic art—both art forms she is excited about.”
To further hone her craft, last summer Mia attended an LIU Post summer writing program. “I got to meet a lot of people and spend days writing, which was awesome because the program also opened me up to a world of college summer programs and all that they have to offer,” she said.
Mia thought about going back to LIU this summer but chose instead to apply to the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists at Stony Brook University. Although she was apprehensive about making a change, she is very excited to embark on a new journalism experience.
“I want to go where I have never gone before and explore journalism,” she said.