Reporting, writing and putting her ‘own voice into something’

Rising Westbury High School senior Ana Rios, 17, stands at approximately 4’9”. But don’t judge Ana by her size — she packs a ton of potential.

“I may be small, but when I have a passion for something, I do what I have to do to get the work done,” she said.

Ana Rios

Ana Rios / Photo by Wasim Ahmad

At her high school, Ana is involved with the Interact Club, which performs community service, and R.O.T.C. She is in charge of public relations and news editing for both clubs. She’s also a member of the volleyball team. playing the position of center.

At 4’9”, she’s the smallest player on her team.

Ana enjoys writing. Writing poetry is one of her favorite hobbies. She really enjoys creative writing.

“In journalism, everyone has a job,” she said. “When I write I love being able to put my own voice into something I like doing.”

Being a journalist wasn’t Ana’s first idea of a “dream job” when she was younger. She says, “It wasn’t journalism, it was English class. I one day got a 100 on an essay and I realized I love writing.”

Due to this success, Ana plans on majoring in English in college with hopes of becoming either a writer or an English teacher.

In Westbury High School, there is no journalism class. One of Ana’s goals is to get a journalism class started in her school. Though she wasn’t able to take journalism, she was able to take a photography class taught by her favorite teacher Mr. Dennis Cleasby, who is also one of her inspirations.

“He’s so fun, and really chilled about how he goes about things,” Ana said, adding that he has given her advice on photography and life in general. “He’s like this hippie out of the 60’s, He’s so cool!

Like most teenagers, Ana enjoys a wide variety of music. She tends to sway towards the acoustic rock genre, which includes bands like Secondhand Serenade and Owl City.
“If there’s something meaningful about a song, I’ll hold on to it,” she said.

Besides listening to music, Ana enjoys reading. Of the many books she has read, she cannot choose a favorite but she says that Susane Colasanti ranks high on her list of favorite authors. “I’m a bookworm, I love reading!” stated Ana.

By the end of her week as a Greene Team member, Ana plans on getting a lot out of her experience in Stony Brook.

She wants to be able to get a full understanding of what life as a journalist is all about.

Ana originally signed up for the program because her teacher handed her the application and told her it would be a great opportunity for her.

“I really want this program to pay off,” she said. “I want to make it so this program is something I’ll always remember to bring with me off into college and years after that.”

Though she stands only standing 4’9”, Ana Rios packs great determination.