Eve Gross, Torrey Pines High School Senior
Former Roving Teen Reporter
New Roving Teen Reporter
Tackling topics like teens’ use of e-cigarettes, increased involvement in activism, and use of social media, Sammy Hallal spent the past year doing what he does best: articulating the teen perspective. As the Sandpiper’s teen reporter, Sammy wrote stories that captured the sentiments of high schoolers around Del Mar — a responsibility he left to me before starting his freshman year at Tulane University.
Prior to joining the Sandpiper, Sammy served first as the Copy editor and later as the Opinion editor of the Falconer, Torrey Pines High School’s newspaper. His time spent at the Falconer was his first taste of journalism, but obviously not his last; he eagerly accepted the Sandpiper position at former teen reporter Lily Nilipour’s suggestion.
“From the start I was super interested in continuing her work and now that it’s over I definitely made the right choice,” Sammy said.
While in the position, Sammy said his “main goal was to bridge the divide between the younger and older groups living in our area” because “the opinions of teenagers on big issues are sometimes not taken as seriously as they should be.”
Local news’s importance, Sammy said, stems from the fact that it tends to people’s desire to relate to where their news is coming from, and that the presence of teen contributors on staffs allows them to share their ideas with people who will listen.
In addition to improving his writing quality and efficiency, Sammy said that he learned a great deal from the work that he did for the Sandpiper and covered issues that he had thought little about before, particularly with his piece about the value of transportation to teenagers, which posed more of a challenge in researching and interviewing than other stories did.
I am excited and honored to follow in Sammy’s footsteps as the teen reporter for the coming school year. There is an abundance of issues, not only in our community, but nationally and globally, that have huge — and often unnoticed — effects on teenagers. Pushing their perspectives out in the open leads to greater awareness and instigates change, which I believe are two of journalism’s most crucial roles.
While he doesn’t currently have plans to take part in publications at Tulane, he “hasn’t ruled it out completely” and will continue to use the skills he has acquired from journalism when pursuing a double major in Economics and International Relations.