Samantha Rosen is the Palmetto High School Silver Knight nominee in the Journalism category. Rosen is the co-editorin- chief of the school paper with Meryl Kornfield. She and Kornfield have made dramatic changes to the paper; it’s now printed in color and is smaller, so it’s more reader friendly.
“Our first issue was met with a lot of success at school,” she says. “After changing the color and the size, we completely renamed all the sections.
We went from seven to five by combining some of the sections. Now we include photo essays, questions and answers, and Buzzfeed style lists.”
The newspaper staff recently attended the National Scholastic Press Association conference where the Panther was named a Pacemaker finalist.
The Pacemaker is the highest NSPAaward. This is the first time in many years that the paper was even nominated for an award.
“It’s really exciting,” says Rosen. “It’s for last year’s paper. We are submitting the first two issues this year for another competition.”
Rosen’s other extracurricular activities include being an assistant vice president for Key Club and a member of the National Honor Society. She was class sectary in her sophomore year and last year she was the school’s United Way chairperson.
“I had to come up with unique ways to fundraise,” she says.
Rosen says the most unique fundraiser was the one where they put out collection buckets labeled with the names of school administrators. The administrator whose bucket brought in the most money had the honor of being hit in the face by a pie.
“The vice principal in charge of giving out uniform detentions got pied in the face at a pep rally,” Rosen says. “It gets the kids hyped up. It’s a fun way to get the kids to donate.”
Outside of school, Rosen is involved in a program that raises money for Camp Jenny, which sends inner city kids from Atlanta to Camp Coleman for Memorial Day Weekend.
“It gives kids a respite from their daily struggles for four days,” she says. “They work for it all year. They have to get good grades, be involved and they can’t get into any fights. The teen staff is all volunteer and chosen through a rigorous process.”
For the past four years, she has been active in the program, not only in fundraising, but as a counselor and unit head.
“Throughout the year, there are things like dance marathons and other fundraisers,” Rosen says. “I’m more involved in the actual process than the fundraising.”
As a unit head, she participates in numerous conference calls with other unit heads and mentors. The calls begin in January and run until May, taking place a couple of times a week.
“We have to plan programs for the entire weekend,” she says. “Programs for confidence building, teamwork and coming up with goals. The theme for upcoming year is Be Your Own Superhero. It’s a productive weekend, not just a play weekend.”
Rosen says the camp helps the kids learn their strengths and to aspire to better themselves.
“Two years ago, one of my campers said she wanted to be a Supreme Court justice,” she says. “We try to help them get on a path that they stay on as adults.”
Rosen also is involved in BBYO as the regional communications chief and has been in in the National Federation of Temple Youth (NIFTY).
— By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld