Isabella Lenarduzzi: Photojournalist in the making

By T’Neil Gooden
Leon M Goldstein High School for the Sciences

Isabella Lenarduzzi, a Kings Park teen, is using her love for photography to branch into the field of journalism. 

The rising senior at Kings Park High School  hopes to use her new attentiveness to journalism and photography to be a photojournalist. As such, she wants to bring attention to different stories that are not popular right now.

Isabella’s interest was spiked by the moving photos by AP news photographer Julio Cortez of the George Floyd protests and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The significance of the photos during this time allowed Isabella to realize that this is something that she thought she could do as well.

His photos influenced Isabella into applying for the Robert W.  Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. Isabella said she wants to “gain more experience and knowledge about what a career in journalism or studying journalism would look like.” Isabella is split between politics and journalism and she believes that this institute will give her “a good idea if journalism is a good fit.”

Isabella, 16, has a passion for English and reading. Isabella says, “My fifth-grade English teacher inspired me… she was the one who guided my interest in reading and to be excited about reading… she kind of shaped me into who I am today.”
Her friend Susan Hickey, 17, sees her as “smart, reserved, creative, and kind. She is willing to help and she will have her unique take on things. She can come off as unassuming, but she’s memorable… She’s passionate about so many things and so knowledgeable.” 

Isabella says, “I would listen to the NPR politics podcast leading up to the election.”  Her motivation to become a photojournalist stems from the 2016 election.

“Journalists are important because they convey everything that is happening to us,” she says. “This was what made me think of journalism as a possible career.” 

“I thought I liked to take photos of nature until recently when I realized that I actually enjoy taking portraits or candid photos of my friends.” Isabella has been exploring the realm of photography and realized that taking photos of a spontaneous nature is what brings her the most joy. Spontaneous pictures could be used in blogs to show that people should be allowing themselves to live in the moment.

Ireland is the first place that Isabella wants to go for her journalism projects.    

“Most people are not aware of the tension in Ireland right now,  and going to cover it would be cool,” she says. “I think it would be interesting to try and capture the tension that’s slowly bubbling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”

Greene’s Final Friday

Today was the last day of the Greene Virtual Institute. Tomorrow we are going to be able to visit the Stony Brook campus!

Greene’s turbo Thursday

Thursday was one of my favorite days of the week!

Chrissy Sampson came and gave us a lecture about the ways of F.O.I.L. (Freedom Of Information Law). F.O.I.L. allows journalists to be able to see files that were hidden away from the public.

Sampson explained to us that most of these files are supposed to be available to journalists because we are the people that provide it to the public. Granted there are some files that companies are allowed to keep private but there are files that deserve to be shared.

“You have to find information that is not readily available,” Sampson said. Nothing is going to be waiting at our fingertips, we have to be ready to dig for the information that we want and need.

As Sampson closed her lecture, Mr. Ricioppo came and gave us a run down of how we should make scripts and edit our videos.

“If you say it, show it,” Ricioppo said. Everything that is said in the script has to be shown in the video for it to flow.

After Mr. Ricioppo wrapped up his lecture, we had two guest speakers, Wasim Ahmad and Sarah M. Kazadi.

Ahmad came and made us realize that our presence on social media is always supposed to be professional, natural and interesting. We get promotions based on how we portray ourselves. The more we are on social media the better for our credit.

Kazadi then came and allowed us to understand that as journalists we have to have thick skin.

“You seek your own opportunities,” Kazadi said. Opportunities do not fall into your lap, we have to take advantage of everything that we can do and can get. The more we show interest the more we are able to get exposure.

We were then given the rest of the day to just work with our groups and finish up our assignment before it is due on Friday.

We worked ’round the clock and spent hours after the camp was finished just completing all that we could.

The Google Doc I was working on Today

It was stressful but a lot of fun!

See you tomorrow for my last Greene Team blog!

Greene’s working Wednesday

Today was all about work. Work through broadcasting, reporting, teamwork and writing.

We worked with Connie Conway, Marcy McGinnis, and Philip Altiere to record our first-ever news broadcast with the Greene team.

The news broadcast made me realize the important role emotions play when an anchor speaks.

The one thing I learned about being an anchor for a day is to get nerves out the door: try and be as comfortable as possible and everything will become natural.

Our broadcasts were edited and broadcast to the Greene team. I knew it was crunch time.

Our groups began to conduct interviews with our sources. There was a time when we had no sources and in the span of five hours we had over four sources.

Journalism is a fast-paced process. That’s what makes it so exciting.

Teamwork is key in creating an amazing story. Your team is going to stick with you and help get information that will benefit everyone.

As the sources get interviewed and notes start to come in… writing steps up to the plate.

Writing is what brings the story to life.

Getting a good headline, lede, and kicker is what makes the story.

Always show emotion and be a team player! ‘Til tomorrow, Greene Team!

Greene’s Tuesday thunder

Today is Day 3 of the Greene program! We learned many different genres that journalism has to offer, from being an unbiased reporter to photography.

Before we got into it, we had another guest speaker! Kate Nalepinski, a print journalist and editor at the Long Island Herald, came to shed her light onto the students of the Greene Program.

“Be versatile and find your niche,” Nalepinski told the Greene students.

Being skilled at more than one aspect of journalism will prepare us for being able to get a job in any field that is provided to us.

After Nalepinski finished helping us understand that we are “a one man band,” John Williams, a photographer, came and began to show us the secrets of photography.

“Background and lighting are the most important thing when it comes to taking photos. Do not make the background be too noisy and do not make the subject’s face be hidden.”

A picture John Williams took of Nelson Mandela in late 1990s.

After John Williams finished his segment on photography, Professor Rick Ricioppo gave us an amazing lecture on the similarities and differences between digital journalism and print journalism.

“KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.” KISS is used to explain to students that writing for both broadcast and print journalism should be able to be easily grasped by the public.

Broadcast journalism is used for the ears, while print journalism is for the eyes. People are supposed to be able to be in their kitchen and understand the news that is on their television screen in the living room. Newspapers are supposed to hold the readers’ eyes and keep them intrigued for the entire time.

As Professor Ricioppo finished his lecture, the Greene team had a press conference with Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn.

Hahn provided us with an exclusive that was not yet known by the public about the way funds should be used to help the community.

Hahn’s ideas roared like thunder onto the Greene students and left them full of inspiration to try their best to help the community as well.

Help the community and take great photos! This was Greene’s Tuesday Thunder!

Greene’s Monday mindset

Today was a full of knowledge, passion and understanding.

Guest speaker Stephanie Brumsey came and comforted the tense environment of first-day jitters. Brumsey enlightened us with the real hardships and experiences Journalism has to offer. She explained that journalism is about hard work and putting yourself out there. Being shy is fine, but the job of Journalism is known for being comfortable with being in public and getting information from people you do not know (and will never see again).

Confidence is key… confidence could be the element that gets you your first real job. Brumsey was able to use her encounters to explain that you are your own spokesperson. If you do not advocate for yourself to your connections and networks then you are not going to prosper as much as you could.

Brumsey then used her insecurities to allow us to realize that a story could be made from personal events. Her courage to explain her life made us understand that Journalism is a lifestyle that tells stories to the public.

Journalism brings stories to life.

After Brumsey finished sharing her experiences, we began to learn how to make a headline and a lede that will bring a reader to our articles. It was very difficult as we were always close but never right there.

Journalism is trial and error. The more we practiced the more we are going to be able to understand and become experts.

‘Til tomorrow, Greene Team!