Russell Stern: Building on an early interest in writing

By Isabella Scuteri
Patchogue-Medford High School

After discovering a love for journalism in fifth grade, Russell Stern has pursued that passion through middle school and high school.

“My liking came early in fifth grade when I worked on articles for a weekly publication in elementary school,” said the 16-year-old senior at Millennium High School in New York City.

Growing up, Russell was always interested in watching political pundits debate current events on Sunday morning news shows such as “Face the Nation” and “Meet The Press.”

Russell still writes about politics. In fact, one of his favorite pieces he wrote was about the 2016 presidential election.

“The article gave a view of political views that are in the middle, not too far to the left or right,” he said. “We always have to look at the middle. It always stirs up something around the school whenever you talk about politics.”

It was elementary school that the journey to becoming a real journalist started for young Russell, who was only 10 years old at the time and had a passion for writing. He published news articles and reviews to his class newspaper, The Question, which sparked his interest in becoming a journalist.

Besides writing for his school newspaper since elementary school, Russell has gone to summer journalism camps to enhance his skills. He also earned a college credit and an Outstanding Writers Award from Baruch College after completing a six-week journalism writing class. In addition, he completed a one-week program at Columbia University.

“One thing you should know about Russell is that he is ‘all in’ about everything he does, whether it is doing schoolwork and studying, playing tennis and basketball or participating in extracurricular activities like journalism and community service,” his father, Jeff Stern, said.

After having so many opportunities and success already, Russell was excited to be accepted into Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists this summer. He hopes to learn new techniques to improve his writing since he is leaning toward a journalism career.

“Since I was young, I was always a person who liked to express my feelings and emotions,” Russell said. “I felt like writing was a good way to express my thoughts.”

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