By Sarah Schreiner
East Islip High School
Under her covers, reading by flashlight, young Chloe Shakin was enthralled with “The Magic Tree House.”
This was the beginning of a love of reading that would soon get her hooked on writing, as well. At first, Chloe dreamed of writing novels. But as a freshman at Jericho High School she found a new love: journalism. She said it all started with Suzanne Valenza. Valenza was her English teacher and the newspaper advisor. She encouraged Chloe to join the staff and Chloe said, “I loved it, I really did!”
She took Valenza’s new Media/Journalism class that year, and was exposed to print, audio, photography, and video. For the most part, Chloe has done it all. Chloe says that journalism, “is never boring… it’s not like writing a whole book.”
In her sophomore year things really took off when Chloe became Editor at Large. Her paper staff began entering the local contests held at universities such as Adelphi and Hofstra.
Chloe couldn’t get enough of winning so she applied for the Hank Logeman Award. The News12 Hank Logeman Award is a $2,000 scholarship that is awarded to a student who demonstrates outstanding achievement in print, television, radio, or web media. While doubtful of winning, Chloe entered the contest and actually won. “Into the college funds it went,” she said, laughing.
“I went to this awards dinner hosted by the Press Club of Long Island,” said Chloe. “It was amazing.” She got to meet all of the newscasters and professionals who she looked up to, such as Newsday political reporter Rick Brand. The dinner fanned her desire to become a journalist.
Chloe’s parents, Jeff and Aimee, support her love of journalism. They described her as empathetic, honest, energetic and articulate, but she claims she’s never been outgoing. “The good thing about journalism is that it made me break out of my shell,” Chloe continued, “it made me more comfortable.” When asked if they agreed, her parents said enthusiastically, “Definitely.”
Chloe’s interest in journalism wasn’t predetermined. Said her mom, “We just knew she was very bright, and we just knew she was very determined.” In her future journalism career, Chloe wishes to pursue print or broadcasting. And it all started under covers with a flashlight, a book, and a passion.