Grace Torgersen: Blending the worlds of science and journalism

By Yaw Bonsu
Baldwin Senior High School

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. 

“That’s when I started being interested in journalism through the lens of science,” she said.

Once she got started, Grace gained more and more experience. For her high school newspaper, The Warrior, she serves as a chief editor, site developer and writer. She was also responsible for creating the first-ever digital edition of the paper. Although she has all of that experience, Grace wants to do more than just writing with the Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalists.

“I am looking forward to exploring aspects of journalism other than writing with the Greene Team,” she said.

Outside of the journalism world, Grace has a heavy interest in DNA science, neuroscience, and environmental projects. Instead of working like most teenagers, she is doing a marine research internship at Students Taking Action for Tomorrow’s Environment (STATE). The internship allows her to monitor the growth of clams and oysters.

Grace, 16, from Port Jefferson Station, has a unique family background. Her mother is of Japanese descent, and her father is Norwegian-German.

“I see many blended families, so my background is not unusual in America,” she said. “In fact, I really enjoy both cultures, especially the food.” 

When she is not focusing on the world of science or journalism, she plays the piano, attends a youth church group, and volunteers for Stony Brook University Hospital.

With her experience and commitment, it is clear Grace is on a track towards success. From writing, editing, and creating websites, to helping the less fortunate with her youth church group, Grace finds time for it all. But it doesn’t stop there. She is the owner of a blog titled “Faith in Neuroscience” which covers topics she’s primarily interested in. That includes the relationship between religion and the brain.

“Grace has always been driven with natural curiosity since she was small,” said Kahori Torgersen, Grace’s mother. “She particularly enjoys reading and experimenting, and I hope she will continue following her heart.” 

Here at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists, all of the internships and volunteer work will be put to a halt for one week. Grace is looking forward to improving her skills, as well as learning from some of the best in the business.

“I’d like to learn to be a better writer,” she said. “I am really excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be mentored by professional journalists.” 

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