Isabelle Castaño-Friedberg: An early love for journalism

By Jaden Morello
Bayshore High 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. Isabelle was always interested in global issues while watching television. Being influenced by her parents and Juju Chang, a journalist for ABC News, Isabelle was able to hold discussions on different issues in the media. 

“From when she was very little, we all figured that she would one day be one of those reporters embedded with rebels in some war-torn country,” her mother, Margaret Friedberg, said. “Basically, she’s given us a huge heart attack for about 13 years now.”

“I always thought the moderators on TV were thoughtful and spoke very eloquently,” Isabelle said. “I looked up to how informed they were on the topics they spoke on.” 

Watching Juju Chang was an important influence for Isabelle. “The mix of taking creative risks and being well spoken allows her [Juju Chang] to come up with very enticing news segments; her curiosity and passion has always inspired me,” she said. 

In second grade, Isabelle developed a love for writing because of the poetry she wrote in school. During the 2012 presidential election, Isabelle began taking an interest in current world events even though she was only in third grade.

As she got older, Isabelle expressed her passion for journalism by looking up to her English and history teachers as well as writing for her school paper. “English is my favorite class and I have always loved it. I was close with my English teacher this year and loved his class,” she said. 

When she is not writing, Isabelle likes to be active and sing classical music. 

In ten years, Isabelle hopes to be writing for a professional newspaper. Her interest in foreign relations and the federal government drives her desire to go into investigative reporting.

Being the risk-taker that she is, Isabelle knows that journalism can give her both the platform to take risks and inform others. When she was accepted into the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute at Stony Brook University, she felt proud and accomplished.

“I want to be surrounded by people who share the love of journalism, as well as strengthen my article-writing skills.”

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