Michelle Paszek at the crossroads of STEM and journalism


By Jada Jackson
High School for Community Leadership

For Michelle Paszek, journalism is just one of her passions, along with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). 

At first glance, these two fields seem like quite the odd pair. Yet, Michelle has found a way to intertwine her love of writing and STEM into journalism. 

At 14, the Kellenberg Memorial High School sophomore from Hicksville has already accomplished much. Michelle said her biggest accomplishments have been having two articles published in the Kidsday section of Newsday and becoming an editor for her high school newspaper. 

These accomplishments were the product of Michelle’s early interest in writing and active imagination. Michelle’s mother, Marzena Paszek, said, “Since elementary school, Michelle enjoyed writing poems and creating her own stories.”

Michelle added, “I always had a giant imagination and loved reading as a child. I was always changing the storylines and characters in my favorite works (because why not). That led me to take creative writing camps at local colleges. I later met my English teacher, Mrs. Villani, who encouraged me to join Early Bird [the middle school’s newspaper] and later continue on to Phoenix [her high school’s newspaper]. I also wrote for Kidsday and wrote some poetry.” 

It was a logical jump to the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists.

Michelle’s goals for the week with the Greene Team were clear. “I hope to gain a better/deeper understanding of the other aspects of journalism at this program,” she said. “I would like to use the experience gained from the Greene program to help me become a better editor for my school newspaper.” 

Michelle said that she does “plan on pursuing journalism after this program. I want to continue writing for my school’s newspaper throughout high school and later tie in STEM to journalism.” 

Although she loves writing, STEM is an even bigger passion for Michelle. In fact, her dream career is “being a robotic engineer at NASA.” Her mother also sees her “working for NASA programming robots and including more artificial intelligence in our daily lives. She may double-major in engineering and journalism to combine these two. She would like to write for a technical magazine in her spare time.” 

“In the future,” her mother said, “she will improve a lot of lives with some new discoveries and application of artificial intelligence. She has a curiosity about computer science and a big potential in any STEM field.”