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2 Parkland students to be part of journalism institute at Stony Brook

A sign for Stony Brook University is pictured

A sign for Stony Brook University is pictured March 1, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Two students from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting in February will participate in a Stony Brook University journalism institute this month.

Zoe Gordon, 15, and Taylor Yon, 16, juniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, are among 26 high school sophomores and juniors who will spend July 16-21 at the Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalists at the university’s journalism school.

Gordon and Yon were staff writers during the past school year at the Eagle Eye, the high school's newspaper that published a memorial issue after the slayings.

“In the wake of the tragedy I found the determination and the courage of the student reporters at Parkland astonishing,” said journalism school Dean Howard Schneider, who contacted Douglas seeking students for the institute. “It was a reminder for many of us who are journalists that journalism has never been more important and needs to be nurtured at every level. This was an opportunity for us to do something for those students.”

Gordon and Yon are interested in pursuing journalism as a career, and “we want to give them as much training as we can to stretch them, to teach them, to inspire them and to improve all their talents and skills,” Schneider said.

The Press Club of Long Island is sponsoring Gordon’s and Yon’s participation, including their travel costs. Typically students must be from Long Island, Queens or Brooklyn.

Scott Brinton, Press Club president, said the Parkland students would “help inform the discussion at the institute.”

“What these two students bring is a perspective,” said Brinton, executive editor of Herald Community Newspapers. “It’s one thing to watch the news from afar, and suddenly when you have two students who lived through this mass shooting and they’re here and you can be sitting in the same room with them, you can understand on a whole other level what precisely happened at Parkland.”

The journalism “boot camp,” which is in its 10th year, is named for the late Pulitzer-Prize-winning Newsday reporter and editor Robert W. Greene.

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