The missing piece: Journalism

For 16 years, Brittany Lynn Garguilo, a junior at Longwood High School, has turned down few challenges.

Brittany Garguilo

Brittany Garguilo / Photo by Wasim Ahmad

Throughout high school she has bounced between student government meetings, varsity soccer and softball practices, her school’s Legislative Committee assemblies and extracurricular volunteer activities. More recently, she’s turned her attention to journalism.

Brittany’s writing has shown potential since her childhood, said her mother, Karen Garguilo, a teacher at West Gates Elementary School in Lindenhurst.  “I was always impressed with how she used voice in her writing in elementary school, which is something hard to teach,” Karen said.  “She just did it!”

Most of her writing has been confined to the classroom, Brittany said. “English is my favorite subject and also my strongest.” For years, though, she’s joked with her peers and teachers that she will become “the next Katie Couric” and has harbored a “craving to venture out into the field of journalism.”

Another reason, though, has drawn her to become a journalist.  “When I was in 6th grade, a tragedy occurred in my family,” said Brittany.  “My cousin Kristin was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Northport. It took me all the courage in the world to watch the news and see her face on the television.  I became disappointed that not all the stories in the news and all the articles in the papers completely matched up. Something was missing.”  At this point, Brittany decided that to resolve this discrepancy, she would have to enter the media field herself.

Since then, Brittany has been accepted into the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists and hopes to break into the world of journalism.  “I applied spontaneously to the program because my teacher, Mrs. Jenna Ortiz, gave the application to me . . . I didn’t honestly expect to get accepted,” Brittany said. “But here I am now.”

At school, Brittany is also known as Britt, Garg, or “Garg and in Charge”). She has been three-time captain of her softball team, plays as a key member on her varsity soccer team, and was captain of her cheerleading team in 7th grade.  Along with innate writing talent and leadership skills, Brittany also possesses a little experience in investigative journalism. As five-time class president, Brittany has developed a habit of scavenging her Facebook page for feedback regarding her school.  “I sometimes feel obligated to see if anyone’s complaining about LHS in any way,” she says.  “This way I can bring up suggestions at the next student government meeting.”

Over the summer, Brittany hopes to earn more practice in the world of media.  “I feel like I would most enjoy reporting serious events such as my cousin’s,” she said.  “But I would also enjoy reporting sports due to my heavy participation in them.”

And though Brittany’s future in journalism is unclear, her mother says that she has every confidence that Brittany will succeed.  “People tease her about being the next Katie Couric,” she said. “But being ‘Brittany Garguilo’ is just right.”