Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Michaela Daly
Melissa Svec finds it odd that she has a love for golf and public speaking.
A rising senior at Chicago’s Mother McAuley High School, Svec, 16, has had an eagle on the golf course and will also be editor of McAuley’s yearbook.
Despite the achievements, Svec is seemingly modest.
“I shot the eagle during a tryout and it was a big deal,” Svec said.
She’s equally modest about taking the helm of the yearbook and newspaper program, Inscape.
“Next year I’m going to be an editor of the program, specifically in charge of the yearbook,” Svec said. “This past year was a big year for me because I got into the EIU journalism camp and a Balfour yearbook camp.”
Senior year will be a welcome transition for Svec, but her memories of the past year are still sweet.
“Junior year was hard, but it is my favorite because I found all my really good friends and I was surrounded by a lot of great people. The people really made it,” Svec said.
Svec’s knack for writing was developed in eighth grade by her English teacher, Mr. Gargano.
“He told me that I was good at public speaking and writing things. It sounds selfish, but it was nice to be appreciated for something you are good at. He taught us how to love words,” Svec said.
Svec’s goals for the future are influenced in part by her role model-her dad. Her father, John, has taught her and her sisters the value of money and hard work, which is why she looks up to him.
“He wants me to do better than he has in life, so that I am able give my kids a good life and teach them the value of money too. I want to make my dad proud and exceed his expectations and I don’t want to be bored with my job,” she said.
When Svec graduates high school, she hopes to combine interests to form a career. She aspires to be able to reach a big audience about being kind to others through public speeches or writing. Svec is looking to major in Communications at Columbia College in Chicago or Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
“I hate the words ‘popular’ and ‘weird’,” Svec said. “I don’t understand the idea that a person can be physically better than another. Everyone is equal.”