Editor gaga for journalism: ‘I always try to make it my own’

It’s always hard for Jessica Colarossi to choose one of her three favorite things to do.

An aspiring journalist, she loves writing and reporting. A dedicated friend, she loves hanging out with best buddies and writing and playing songs on her guitar.

Jessica Colarossi

Jessica Colarossi

“There is always music playing in the back of my head,” she said, adding that she played guitar since the eighth grade.

The 16-year-old rising senior at Lindenhurst High School said in an interview that it’s “A big challenge for me trying to balance my school life with my hanging out with my friends.”

She applied for the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists to get a jump on the career path she has been on since she joined the staff of Lindenhurst High’s Charles Street Times, where she is editor of the lifestyle page.

Jess’ love for writing is obvious. She has always wanted to be a journalist and enjoys writing whenever she has to.

“Whether it’s an essay or article for my school paper I always try to make it my own,” she said.

Her favorite thing about journalism is being the one to tell the true story and uncover the hard facts. She added, “It’s fun and cool.”

But she doesn’t love everything about her job. The one complaint she had about being a journalist is, “The pressure! Especially with deadlines and stuff.”

Jess has been writing for the Charles Street Times for the past three years. One of the biggest stories she has covered is when she interviewed Suffolk County Legislator Wayne Horsley, who sponsored a bill that bans the incineration of human waste at Bergen Point Water Treatment Facility.

Jess wrote an article praising him for helping the environment. She said this article was the most interesting because it involved so much more work and research than any other article she has written. Her hard work on the article paid off, as it landed on the front page of the Charles Street Times.

Jess’ favorite topic to cover is fashion and opinion, while she least likes to write about politics and economics because she’s “just not interested.”

According to friend Malaina Rogers, one of Jess’ greatest journalism moments came when her story on Legislator Horsley appeared on the front page of the school paper.

Malaina said about Jess, “For as long as I’ve known her she’s wanted to be a journalist.”

Another one of Jess’ best friends, Ashley Garrick, describes Jess as “a very good writer and very passionate” and adds, “she’s excited for the program.”

In addition to recognizing Jess’ love for journalism, her friends also deeply care about her, support her and realize how difficult it is for Jess to balance her busy life.

Luckily, sometimes Jess combines her interest in writing with her great friendships.

Ashley Garrick describes Jess as a “sweetheart and really funny. She’s easy to get along with and she’s outgoing. She’s a fun person to be around.”

Malaina Rogers echoed these thoughts exactly and added: “We met on the first day of sixth grade and we’ve been best friends ever since.”

Her time spent at Stony Brook University’s high school journalism workshop is the latest step pointing her toward the world of writing and reporting.

“Hopefully this program will teach me what it really takes to be a journalist and shows me how passionate you have to be,” she said.