The Greene Team 2019

Olivia Abbruzzese

Patchogue Medford HS

Olivia Abbruzzese has found an outlet in writing. Since she was a child, she’s used it as a way to express her feelings and emotions, hoping it will take her far in satisfying her thirst for knowledge.

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Yaw Bonsu

Baldwin HS

Having been involved in sports from a young age, Yaw Bonsu now dreams of becoming a sports journalist. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Baldwin, the 17-year-old rising senior at Baldwin Senior High School has long been a fan of the NBA and NFL.

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Cielo Castaneda

Edward R. Murrow HS

Something unexpected happened during Cielo Castaneda’s freshman year of high school. And something even more unexpected happened in her junior year. In her first year at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, the only class she was able to take in order to fill up her schedule was journalism.

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Isabelle Castaño Friedberg

The Chapin School

Starting from writing poetry and watching the news as a young child, Isabelle Friedberg has developed quite an interest in journalism. Isabelle, a 15-year-old student at The Chapin School in New York, grew up in New Rochelle and moved to Manhattan when she was eight.

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Mia D'Alessandro

Huntington HS

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.

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Toni-Elena Gallo

Connetquot HS

Toni-Elena Gallo is in constant pursuit of knowledge, similar to that of a professional journalist. “Ever since I was little, I’ve been interested in getting to the root of the story,” said the 17-year-old incoming senior at Connetquot High School.

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Julia Heming

Hampton Bays HS

Most children don’t have a career plan at the age of 12, but Julia Heming did. And that plan was a career in journalism. The 17-year-old rising senior at Hampton Bays High School said she knew she wanted to pursue journalism when she went on assignment for Kidsday, the young people’s page in Newsday, when she was a student at Our Lady of Hamptons R.C. School

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Alyssa La Motta

Baldwin HS

Alyssa La Motta has been writing ever since she was young, and she hopes to continue doing it as a professional journalist. Alyssa is a rising senior, and she is attending the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists to represent Baldwin High School.

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Phoebe Lawson

Patchogue Medford HS

Phoebe Lawson had an interesting start to journalism. “I wasn’t interested in it until my freshman year when I was accidentally put into the journalism class,” said the 16-year-old rising senior at Patchogue-Medford High School. “It pushed me to join my school’s newspaper where I began writing and found I love to do that.”

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Talasia Matthews

Roosevelt HS

For Talasia Matthews, the beginning of her journalistic journey began with a fascination for fashion. “At a young age, I would always play dress up with my cousins,” said the 17-year-old from Roosevelt, New York.  “I would also watch America’s Next Top Model on a daily basis. These activities grew my passion for fashion.”

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Lily McInerney

Irvington HS

When Lily McInerney broke the story of the hiring of a new principal at Irvington High School in her school newspaper, she realized journalism could be her career choice. “That’s when I knew that this was going to be something that I was definitely going to be interested in,” said the 16-year-old incoming senior. “That excitement and buzz around an article was something that I constantly craved.”

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Olivia Mintz

Half Hollow Hills West HS

Olivia Mintz developed a passion for writing at a young age. She specifically loved to write poetry and would do it as often as she could. That love of writing grew in middle school as she took more advanced classes and learned to hone her craft.

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Amanda Mitchell

Elmont Memorial HS

Amanda Mitchell has always been a creative, out-of-the box thinker, which has helped fuel her love and passion for writing. Even as a young child, she would create short stories about drama, friendship and comedy. “Ever since I was five years old, all I’ve ever done was write,” said Amanda Mitchell, a 16-year-old incoming junior at Elmont Memorial High School.

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Jaden Morello

Bayshore HS

Jaden Morello is an aspiring journalist who has already published countless stories online read by thousands of followers. “Growing up around water and lots of scenery, I started off loving to take pictures,” the 16-year-old Bay Shore High School rising junior said. “From there I thought I would love to write my own books.”

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Candace Morgan

Roosevelt HS

Candace Morgan wants to change the world by identifying issues and highlighting them through writing. “I like to write and share the truth about things,” said the rising senior at Roosevelt High School. Candace often reads and watches the news, primarily The Shade Room and News 12.

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Maya Ratner

Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders

Maya Ratner first became interested in journalism at a young age when she constantly heard people say to her, “You are just a little girl! What do you know about life?” The Ukraine native who is now a 17-year-old rising senior at Leaders High School in Brooklyn, used these snubs as fuel to learn as much as possible to debate and prove her views to others.

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Isabella Roccanova

Holy Trinity HS

Isabella Roccanova has always loved writing stories. At a young age, her mind was filled with creative thoughts and ideas.  According to her mother, Mary Roccanova, “Writing seems to come very easy to Isabella; it comes from the top of her head.’’

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Isabella Scuteri

Patchogue Medford HS

Growing up, Isabella Scuteri did not yet have an interest in journalism. “As a kid, I never really watched the news,” said Isabella, a 17-year-old rising senior at Patchogue-Medford High School. “I didn’t really understand what was going on in the world at the time.”

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Sophia Seda

Brentwood HS

Sometimes watching TV with family members can be impactful to a person’s life because it can help define their passion. When Sophia Seda was a little girl, she enjoyed watching the news with her father, inspired by the fact that people are always around when something important happens.

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Russell Stern

Millennium HS

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.

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Grace Torgersen

Comsewogue HS

As a successful science fair participant, Grace Torgersen, a junior at Comsewogue High School, knew she wanted to be a scientist at a young age. But what she didn’t know is that writing was a key aspect in achieving that goal. Grace turned to a professor she met at a science fair to ask how she can start her science career. She was surprised to hear that writing was the most important thing.

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David Wang

Great Neck South HS

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.”

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Alexandra Weldon

Earl L. Vandermuelen HS

Alexandra Weldon’s love and passion for reading provide fertile ground for her active imagination. Alexandra, a rising junior at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in the Port Jefferson School District, can often be found at the Port Jefferson Free Library, passing the time by delving into various genres, including horror and adult fiction.

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Kiana Wright

Digital Arts and Cinema Technology HS

Kiana Wright loved writing from a young age, but it was only after a freshman year writing assignment—a seven-page creative rewrite of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet—that she truly recognized it as both a passion and a career option.

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