By Camila Rojas
Hempstead High School
Whether she’s creating a fantasy story or editing her school’s newspaper, writing is something that comes naturally to Ianna Banfield, who calls it “the one consistent thing I’m 100 percent sure that I want to do for the rest of my life.”
With her passion for writing, the rising junior at Park Slope Collegiate in Brooklyn hopes to have a future as a journalist.
“I believe that journalism could provide me with the voice I need so that I could speak out on important things. Journalism will help me explore the world around me and teach me new things. I’m always up for new experiences.”
To help accomplish this goal she is participating in the one-week Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists at Stony Brook University, where she hopes to learn more about the field of journalism and also push her boundaries as a writer.
This past year has been monumental for Ianna, as she has taken a step closer to her dream of becoming an author. One of her fiction short stories, “Suki’s Magical Journey,” was published by The New York Public Library.
“The story is about a girl who moves from the country to the city and is having a bit of trouble adjusting to changing environments,” Ianna said. It was “one of the rare moments where I actually felt genuinely proud of myself. I was also insanely excited to finally show people my writing since I normally keep it hidden, being that the stories I write are very important and sacred to me.”
At an early age her parents introduced to her the power of reading, which has stuck with her throughout her life. “I like to read all kinds of books… the books that grasp my attention the most are fantasy and dystopian novels, and sometimes realistic fiction.”
Ianna, 15, also enjoys art. She participated in a program with New York University where a few of her art pieces were published on its website. Many of her paintings spread the message of equality and acceptance for women.
“My art is mainly influenced by my writing, which is mainly influenced by my experiences, causes that are important to me and the people around me.”
Ianna’s friend, Camila Pierre, described her as “energetic, intelligent and eager. She is very outgoing and loves to talk to people. In her journalism career she could use this in a positive way as she is easily able to connect with everyone she meets.”
“I would definitely focus on the writing aspect and getting to learn about different people and environments when I go into journalism,” Ianna said. With the help of the Greene Institute she wants to expand her writing skills. “I expect the week with Stony Brook to help me because the mentors will provide me with the guidance I need. They will also teach me more about journalism since I do not have much knowledge about it.”