Moriah Pettway: A lifelong love of writing


Moriah Pettway loves writing and public speaking — two skills needed for an aspiring broadcast journalist like herself — so much that she once took a science-based advanced placement seminar because it involved lots of both.

When it comes to writing, Moriah, 17, of Baldwin, a rising senior year at Baldwin High School, said she feels it is different from other subjects because it’s an expressive outlet. “Other subjects have certain rules and guidelines that need to be followed, yet writing is something that is all yours.” 

As a young Black woman aiming to be a professional journalist, Moriah said she expects to feel added pressure to serve as a representative because she will share her image with the public. Moriah said she doesn’t feel that way now because her school is racially diverse. 

“I’m going to basically be the spokesperson who represents Black women such as myself in this particular industry and it is added pressure. But at the same time it’s a hurdle, which I know I just face in order to make a difference.”

 As motivation, Moriah turns to several role models in the journalism and writing fields who are Black females that inspire and motivate her. 

“CNN anchor Abby Phillips is truly an inspiration to me and I love her work.” Another role model Moriah has is her former English teacher. “I see that Ms. Barnes is a smart Black woman in a high leadership position in my school and it gives me hope for my own future.” 

As hobbies, Moriah plays guitar and sings. She also runs cross-country on her school’s girls track-and-field team. 

Moriah’s family loves how hard she works in school. “What I appreciate the most about Moriah’s work ethic is she consults various resources for the best outcome while not relying solely on her own intuition for success,” said her father, Corey. Moriah’s sister, Shekinah, added: “I appreciate her drive and dedication to her school work and how well spoken she is.” 

Moriah applied to the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists in part for guidance on how to become a successful journalist, but more so because the program catered to the exact thing she wanted out of writing and journalism. 

“I wanted to do this program because I had always had an interest in journalism but I never had an outlet that was specifically dedicated to journalism. So when I heard about this opportunity I knew I couldn’t give it up.”