When it comes to ambition, she’s not on the fence

With a high school résumé that far exceeds most teens her age, its no wonder that Amanda Lalezarian has already became a strong competitor in the international World Cups for fencing, a varsity cross-country runner and a video director and editor for the MSG varsity club at her school.

Amanda Lalezarian

Amanda Lalezarian / Photo by Wasim Ahmad

This spirited, fifteen-year-old student, at Cold Spring Harbor High School, has much to offer when it comes to journalism. “Amanda has always shown an interest in journalism,” said her uncle, Frank Lalezarian. This was evident in fourth grade when Amanda created a monthly newspaper with a couple of her friends.

“I didn’t stick with writing once I moved into junior high, but once high school rolled around I started writing for my school’s newspaper and learning all about film and photography in media arts,” Amanda said.

Amanda’s primary focus is film, but she hopes to expand her writing abilities at the Greene Institute. “My hopes for this program are that I experience all the different fields journalism has to offer and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.

Renee Largarenne, Amanda’s friend since seventh grade, said she is awed by her photography. “Amanda always has a good eye for seeing a good shot, where most people wouldn’t find one,” Largarenne said. “ I have always tried to imitate her ability, but it just comes naturally to her.”

Being open to new experiences is important to Amanda. “I’m always eager to learn more about topics, but I tend not to ask so many questions because I don’t know how to word my thoughts and ask it in a way that makes sense,” Amanda said, adding that she is still unsure if whether journalism is the career for her. “I won’t be able to tell until I am exposed to all the different departments of media.”

Not only does Amanda have a strong passion for journalism, but also for sports. She started fencing in fourth grade, the same year she had her first taste of journalism. Amanda was exposed to the sport in New Jersey in a unique way, when her parents took her to a concert. “As silly as it may sound, it was my brother’s bladder that led me to fencing; he had to go to the bathroom, which was in the basement of the building where we stumbled upon two people fencing,” she said. Since then, Amanda has been training five days a week with her coach.

“My role model is my fencing coach, Natalie Gareeva,” Amanda said. “For nearly five years we have spent countless hours together, teaching me many important life lessons.”  Through their many talks, Amanda said she has learned how to maintain her composure when her emotions might get the best of her or during a high pressure situation.

Amanda’s passion and dedication to the sport allowed her to start traveling the country at age eleven and last fall she began fencing internationally. “It took many years of hard work and patience to reach the level I’m at now,” she said, adding that in the past three months she has traveled to France, Hungary, and Germany.

Amanda is working toward a spot on the Cadet National Team, which is made up of the top three fencers by age group in the country.

“She always seems to know what needs to be done to get what she wants and is always willing to do whatever it takes to get there,” said Largarenne.

The same work ethic applies to her expectations about the Greene Institute. “I’m excited to meet everyone attending the program including both the participants and instructors,” Amanda said. “I can’t wait to use the professional equipment supplied for us in the newsroom that Marcy McGinnis has worked so hard to assemble.”