A Jericho High School journalist stood should-to-shoulder with professionals in the industry recently at the Woodbury Country Club, winning an award for her craft from the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).
JerEcho reporter and New Media Communications III student Alanna Levine was recognized by the PCLI for her journalistic achievements with the Hank Logeman High School Journalism Award, an honor bestowed on Levine for her efforts in promoting high school journalism on Long Island.
“This is a huge honor for our newspaper,” said senior and executive editor of the JerEcho Sam Newman. “I think the awards that we all receive collectively show how amazing and dedicated all of our reporters are.”
Suzanne Valenza, New Media Communications instructor and JerEcho advisor, said the award demonstrates the type of dedication that is needed at Jericho’s online news outlet.
“I think it’s a tribute to the kind of students we have, how hard they work and how passionate they are about journalism,” said Valenza, acknowledging that Levine is particularly assiduous in her journalistic tenacity. “She’ll go the extra mile to go out of the school building and cover more of the important topics that concern students today.”
Amongst Levine’s contributions to the JerEcho are “Molly on the Rise,” in which she investigated the rising popularity and use of the drug molly among teenagers; “Meet Ed, Mia and Ana, the New Faces of Eating Disorders,” which covered the Internet’s role in promoting eating disorders; the photography feature “Humans of Jericho” modeled after the popular project “Humans of New York” and “Minutes Away, Worlds Apart,” which compared the lives of Hempstead High School and Jericho High School students.
“I’m so proud of my eating disorder and Hempstead pieces,” said Levine. “I feel like I have a personal connection to a lot of my pieces and I’m lucky to say that I’m proud of all of them.”
Levine will be a freshman at the University of South Florida in the fall of 2015, where she plans on majoring in neuropsychology.
“I want to be on my college’s newspaper,” said the student journalist. “I already started talking to USF about it when I went on the tours.”
Valenza hopes to see Levine continue to utilize her skills as a writer and a reporter. She particularly hopes to see Levine continue to publish work in college.
“Whether or not students pursue journalism as a major in college, the real world experiences that this class provides and the skills that they learn about writing and research are going to serve them no matter which field they go into,” said Valenza. “I’m sure that Alanna is going to be successful in whatever she sets her mind to.”
Levine thanked the Press Club for the honor and said working as an all-around journalist with the JerEcho provided her with a skill set she will carry with her to college and beyond.
“I want to do public speaking towards the end of my career, specifically covering my work, and I feel that the JerEcho really prepared me for that and the rest of my future,” she said, adding that winning this award made her realize, “this is a passion I can continue in the future.”