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Rena Max: An early start, a bright future

By Lycianne Pitts
New Explorations HS (NEST+M)

 Rena Max really likes to write.

“I always enjoyed words, stories, writing,” the rising senior at Hebrew Academy of Nassau County said. 

Rena, 16, who lives in Plainview with her mom, dad, Daniel, and her siblings Elana and Ari, said, “My mom was reading the Jewish Week two years ago and saw Fresh Ink for Teens, which is the online-only teen section in Jewish Week. She said I should apply so I did and I have been there ever since.” Rena is also in clubs like Torah Bowl and College Bowl, which are trivia game clubs, mathletes, robotics and astronomy. 

At an early age 10 or 11, Rena started writing. “She used to write stories when she was younger and her teachers would say it was really good and it should be in a book,” her mother, Lisa, said.

Rena is thinking about a journalism career. So she was interested in the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists to improve her writing and learn new technical skills. “The Greene program gave me the opportunity to hear from so many fascinating reporters and learn about different aspects of the field of journalism,” she said. “I gained exposure to the basics of areas which I had never touched on before. I made new friends, had new experiences, and learned skills which I’m sure will be useful in any career I pursue in the future.” 

Rena’s family is supportive of her interest in writing — for now. Lisa Max, a pathologist at Stony Brook, suggested Rena should become an actuary because she likes subjects like math and engineering.

But Lisa Max also said that her daughter is often buried in the pages of books when she’s not out interviewing people for her articles.

“She is always reading,” Lisa Max said.

Writing those articles has helped Rena to go out into the world and meet all different kinds of people, which her mother is excited to see more of.

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