By Oona Montandon
Millennium Brooklyn High School
How does one find success as a high school journalist without a school paper to write for, a school culture to write about, or even a physical high school?
“It’s a little different,” said 15-year-old Shayaan Tirmizi, who has, along with his two brothers, been homeschooled since 2012.
In lieu of a traditional school paper, Shayaan took the initiative in April 2020 to start his own blog, initially focusing on tech, primarily Apple. His attention has shifted, so “now when I write, it’s whatever comes to mind,” he said.
Shayaan is pleased to have joined the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. His mom regularly sends him links to programs he might be interested in, and the Greene Institute immediately sparked some interest.
“So I emailed,” he explained, “asking about the due date and they wrote back saying, ‘Today is the last day to send in an application, send one in today!’”
Shayaan was excited to spend a week exploring journalism, especially using Clipchamp and getting a taste of broadcast work.
Journalism is not Shayaan’s only area of interest, nor his only prospect. “If journalism doesn’t work out,” he said, “I’d move on to teaching.” Probably English, or something related to writing.
According to older brother Rayyan, Shayaan “was always a good writer and he always had a great imagination.”
When he isn’t writing or doing schoolwork, Shayaan enjoys playing basketball at local courts. There he’s been able to meet many new people and made some good friends. “There’s a lot of assumptions” about homeschooling he said, particularly that homeschoolers don’t have a lot of friends. But given Shayaan’s commitment to outside activities, such preconceived notions do not apply.
Shayaan believes the Greene Institute could be instrumental in his future. He loosely plans on attending Stony Brook University, as his brother will soon, and hopes to study journalism there, especially if his week on the Greene Team is rewarding.
When it comes to specific areas of journalism, as well as his broader future, Shayaan is “open for anything.”