by Lily Clardy
Few students fight to take a class for a fourth time, but editors Siobhan Richards and Dakota Antelman did just that at the end of their junior year. Journalism had become more than an class to them. They realized that communications was a career they wanted to pursue.
The Program of Studies included only three years of journalism classes, so they met with Principal Reagan to argue for a fourth year of the class. They convinced the principal to add a fourth year, which was called Advanced Journalism IV.
But, when they first joined the class in 9th grade, Richards and Antelman had different mindsets.
Richards considered Journalism to be a study hall until she was able to voice her opinions and inform people about what was going on in the community. Because of that, she kept taking the class.
Richards also loved photography, but she never thought she was great at it.
Journalism gave her the opportunity to improve upon the quality of her pictures, and because of that, during junior year, Richards finally saw the beauty in her pictures.
She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life until she took this class.
“Everyone has a thing that makes them special and unique, and I think that Journalism helped me find that special thing. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life before this class.”
Because of this class, Antelman was able to gain confidence in himself and in talking to new people.
“I was the new kid,“ Antelman says, “and I’m gay so that doesn’t help. I had a lot to be self-conscious about.”
When Antleman first took this class, he was only interested in sports writing, but by end he became more interested in investigative stories.
When Antelman worked on an investigative story, he mainly focused on mental health and drug addiction. He could see a clear impact on others because of his articles.
Antelman appreciates the fact that journalism helped him to know his community and to make himself known even when he did not have much power.
For four months during his sophomore year, Antelman wrote his first investigative piece on academic stress. Just after a few hours of submitting his article online, it hit 1,000 views, and it kept climbing.
At 16 Antelman already saw his content being taught in classes. Hudson High School health teacher Jeannie Graffeo printed out copies of Antelman’s article and devoted a whole class to talk about the issues that he addressed and how they have a huge effect on the community.
“High school was not an overwhelmingly positive experience for me,” Antelman says, “but I think for the most part Vessels’s class was often the haven for that, where I was able to be curious and able to have room to fail.”