Pressing the Future: Alumna Bella Ramirez on the Summer Academy Experience
The following is part of our Student Experience Series, where students and alumni share what they learned, how they grew and what made their #SoNYT experience so rewarding.
On almost every topic under the sun — from international affairs to entrepreneurship, from the Supreme Court to arts, culture fashion and film — our Summer Academy gives students unparalleled opportunities to discover and explore their passions in New York City or Washington DC. As we approach our first application deadline for Summer Academy 2019, we asked alumna Bella Ramirez what she appreciated most about her experience.
“The beauty of The School of The New York Times is the diversity. We each have a different story but we fit together like pieces of a puzzle I did not know existed. The School of The New York Times gave me the opportunity to meet the most amazing people and have the best hands-on experience in my short fifteen-years of life.”
With the goal of becoming a professional journalist, Bella leveraged her time at The School to delve deeper into her craft through real-world learning and hands-on access to people and places.
“In the past I was limited to interviews over email or a short in-person interview,” she reflected. “In class I had the opportunity to interview people on the street, in their homes and over the phone. I talked to big organizations, found statistics from police stations and reached new bounds by testing my limits. I knew you needed guts for this profession but now I have the people skills to pair with my daring attitude.”
“Every bend in the street is another opportunity for a story.” — Bella Ramirez, NYC Summer Academy 2018
For some students like Bella, Summer Academy begins long before classes start, as students connect with each other through social media and become acquainted with each other by sharing ideas, stories and projects. Bella and a few other students from her term developed a news site before even arriving on campus last summer.
“After a few months of planning, some serious talks and vetting priorities, we published a news site called Pressing the Future. The best part is not the fact that we were able to produce something despite never meeting or being on opposite sides of the globe. The best part is the people.”
Bella and the diligent global staff of Pressing the Future work throughout the year, including during finals, AP exams and midterms, to bring readers quality content. Where does the name of their site come from?
“We are the future of the press and though the future may seem pressing, we are ready to cover it.”