JRN 221

Students in the College Now journalism class, JRN 221, learned to be reporters by investigating and writing their own news articles. Using access to public documents, first hand observation and interviews with strangers, they reported on stories of social significance related to affordability and gentrification in the Bronx.

Meet the faculty and students in the JRN 221 class!!

Eileen Markey - Instructor

Eileen Markey a professor of Journalism at Lehman College is a veteran news reporter who has covered urban affairs and public policy in New York City for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in CityLimits, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal and on WNYC New York Public Radio. Before moving to freelance reporting, she covered crime and politics in Paterson, New Jersey. Her book, A Radical Faith: the Assassination of Sr. Maura, a biography of an American woman assassinated by the military government of El Salvador in 1980, was Nation Books in 2016. Eileen has taught at Hunter College and Long Island University in Downtown Brooklyn. College Now students are her favorite. She lives in the Bronx with her husband and two sons.

Shanik Vasquez - Teaching Assistant

Shanik Vasquez is a graduate of Lehman College, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications Studies and a minor in Japanese language in June 2017. Having taken three College Now courses (ART 112, PHI 172, and ENG 111) when she was a high school student, she is grateful for the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant for the summer journalism course once more. She has been working at Lehman since her sophomore year, beginning in the Study Abroad Office and later moving to the College Now office. She is a huge proponent of study abroad and language learning, having spent a semester in Japan herself. In her free time, she enjoys watching sitcoms like Friends, Modern Family, and That 70’s Show.

Robert DeNisi - Teaching Assistant

Robert DeNisi is an 18-year-old sophomore at Lehman College. He was born and raised in the Bronx and resides in Pelham Bay with his mother, father and younger brother. Robert is an aspiring sports journalist who found his way to this career choice through his passion for sports. He played baseball in high school and described the most defining moment in his life as the time he made the last out for his school’s team to win the championship. In college, Robert hasn’t sought out his vocation for baseball much farther than watching the games on TV, but with this extra time he’s found time to bask in his love for music. A few favorite artists are Maroon 5 and Shawn Mendes, which may have inspired his hopelessly romantic nature. The music choice may also reflect his strength and biggest weakness: his predisposition to help others and his altruistic nature.

Daniella Amanini

Daniella Amanini, a 17-year-old, is a student at Collegiate Institute for Math and Science who likes to listen to music and hang out with friends. She was born in the Bronx, but her mother’s family is Italian and her father’s family is Puerto Rican. Daniella’s greatest strength is giving advice and her greatest weakness is her shyness. Her goals for the summer include passing the class and having fun after.

Gabriella Amanini

Gabriella Amanini, also known as Gabby, is a 17-year-old senior at Collegiate Institute for Math and Science. She is the youngest of five and has a twin sister named Daniella. Like her parents, she was born here in the US. Her grandparents, however, are from Italy and Puerto Rico. In her free time, Gabriella enjoys swimming and playing volleyball. She also enjoys working at a restaurant in White Plains, New York. She describes herself as inexplicably shy, but a very good listener. Gabriella is currently undecided on what she wants to do in the future, but she is positive that she wants to attend and graduate college.

Raphael Brown

Raphael Brown is a 16-year-old rising senior from Harlem. Brown was a Harlem resident for 14 years before moving to the Bronx last year. Brown was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital and lives near the Grand Concourse. He likes to play role playing games (RPGs) and fighting games, likes to read graphic novels from Marvel and DC, and enjoys reading realistic fiction. Raphael takes tennis class twice a week and was a counselor in training for a summer camp, helping children produce a play. Raphael characterizes himself as a bit of a perfectionist, and states his weaknesses are his insecurity and doubtful tendencies.

Gabriel Cruz

Gabriel Cruz is a sixteen-year-old high school senior of Puerto Rican descent, who lives in Manhattan, New York and attends Bronx Science High School. Like most boys his age, he enjoys playing video games. Unlike most people, he enjoys walking. Gabriel usually visits family in Puerto Rico during the summer, but instead of continuing this tradition, this summer he decided to take the journalism course through the College Now Program at Lehman College. He hopes to learn a new form of writing, and improve his writing in general. He is highly motivated when he’s doing something he actually has interest in, an example being his attitude toward the journalism class he’s currently taking. You can say that Gabriel is working toward his long-term goal of becoming a successful adult one day, and with that comes the motivation to higher education.

Kawsara Danjuma

Kawsara Danjuma was born in Ghana. She is eighteen years old and currently attends Comprehensive Model School Project 327. She moved to the Bronx in November of 2010 and has lived here since. Kawsara enrolled in the College Now journalism course because she finds journalism interesting and would like to earn college credits. She takes interest in politics and enjoys reading informational texts. One of Kawsara’s strengths is that she is determined. Her short-term goals are to graduate high school and get into a college that she genuinely enjoys. Her long-term goal is to be happy.

Elaine de la Concha

Elaine de la Concha is one of the eighteen participants in Lehman College Now’s Journalism program. Two reasons she decided to participate in this summer’s program was to become a better writer and figure out if this was a possible career choice for her. She’s a Bronxite from the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx who is of Hispanic origin. She is a 16-year-old student at Astor Collegiate Academy hoping to major in Clinical Psychology or Journalism. As a rising senior preparing for college, her goals are to become more successful in being able to manage time and procrastinate less. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, writing and performing for her school’s Drama Club. She considers herself very well rounded when it comes to the fine arts and other similar disciplines, as well as an extremely hard working individual. When posed with the question of ‘’What is one thing that you would change about the world’s current state?’’ she responded by saying that she wishes that people would learn to accept others regardless of any traits they may have, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, social class and religion.

Emelina Delvalle

Emelina Delvalle is a 15-year-old Puerto Rican who attends Bronx High School for Health and Science. She was born in the Bronx and lives in Coop City. She is sensitive emotionally, but is very outgoing. She plans to graduate from high school, attend a university in upstate NY and hopefully enroll in medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

Hadiatou Jalloh

Hadiatou Jalloh, a 16-year-old rising senior from South Bronx Preparatory, likes to write and use her voice to debate on social issues swirling in today’s society. Born in Miami, but raised in Guinea, West Africa she was able to learn more about her culture, family, and religion. After seven years in Guinea, she returned to the United States and moved to the Bronx. She is very proud of taking AP classes and being able to push herself to express her ideas and opinions. Hadiatou is down to earth, likes to read romantic fiction stories and to reflect on her life. While she listens to other’s arguments and opinions on certain political topics, she tries her best to accept and be aware of their statements. Her goal in taking a summer course at Lehman College is to help her find her future career, make friends, and expand her knowledge.

Ericka Martinez

Ericka Martinez born in U.S raised in Ecuador, is a rising junior at The Young Women Leadership School of the Bronx. Some of Ericka's hobbies and interests are playing volleyball, dancing, reading, and writing. Ericka found many benefits to growing up in Ecuador such as learning how to speak and write fluently in Spanish. Ericka excelled in mathematics and was a great ballet dancer. She is very family-oriented and learned more about her family in Ecuador and learned how to communicate with others without the use of technology. She dislikes conceited people or people who think that they are better than others because of their social status. She is proud of many things and one of those is always staying true to herself and her religion. Through all the trials and tribulations she has never lost faith. Ericka is independent, however, she is a procrastinator and she wants to change that before it's too late. In this College Now class she hopes to find a clear college path and improve on her writing skills, a goal many of her classmates are also hoping to achieve.

Carolyn Martinez

Carolyn Martinez is a 17-year-old senior at CMSP 327 high school in the Bronx. She lives in an apartment with her mom and older brother in Harlem. Before moving to Harlem, Carolyn was born in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, and moved to the United States at the age of four. Soon after, she began to assimilate to American culture and quickly learned English after just three years of practicing the language. Carolyn works hard to maintain her 97% average in school while balancing her scholarly and social life. She is extremely close with her immediate and distant relatives and keeps in touch with them. Carolyn goes to the gym three times a week and watches Netflix for days on end to finally wind down after a hard week at school. Though a hard worker, Carolyn doesn’t believe she has a solid idea on a future career and is using College Now as an opportunity to explore all of her options in order to find a possible vocation for herself. She believes that every moment is more defining than the last as she continues to find herself and figure out her place in the world.

Nathaniel Paulino

Nathaniel Paulino is a 17-year-old rising senior from the Bronx. He attends Bronx Lab School, where he has achieved excellent scores in his SAT and Regents exams. He is a returning College Now student and a member of the National Honor Society. He was born in the Bronx where he has lived his whole life. He has taken English 222: Literary Genres in the Lehman College Now program. Nathaniel is returning in the hopes of accumulating college credits, and currently has no plans for the future.

Jose Perez

Jose Perez is a seventeen-year-old rising senior at Comprehensive Model School Project 327. He is always eager to learn and grow, which makes him a strong individual. While he was born in the United States, his family comes from the Dominican Republic. Jose is a carefree individual who loves to live in the moment. He is a big family person who enjoys spending time with them and his friends. Interests of his are playing basketball, listening to music, and learning about different people and their cultures. A strength of Jose’s is his quality of work, which allows him to do well in school. He aspires to major in political science or law.

Jada Rivera

Jada Rivera is a 16-year-old rising junior who attends Bronx High School for the Visual Arts. She was born and raised in the Bronx, and grew up in Parkchester. She comes from a proud Puerto Rican background. Known by her friends as “Big head”, she can be very stubborn and pessimistic but straightforward and respectful to the ones she cares about. One day Jada hopes to study criminology and pursue a career as a criminal psychologist. She is adventurous and likes to go out with friends and family, but she also enjoys being alone.

Emily Rosa

Emily Rosa attends high school at Comprehensive Model School Project 327, as a seventeen-year-old rising senior. Although she was born and raised in the Bronx, her parents are from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Emily loves to use her phone to communicate with friends and watch Netflix with her twelve-year-old brother. She believes that her zodiac sign plays a massive role in her personality: so as an Aries she believes that her weaknesses include indecisiveness and stubbornness. However, she is a very determined individual. By the end of summer 2018, Emily’s goal is to get an excellent score on her SAT.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith is a 16-year-old from Highbridge, a neighborhood in the Bronx. He is a rising junior who attends Bronx Early College Academy. He was born in the United States and his family is from Trinidad. He plays on his school's soccer team. Jason enjoys listening to and writing music in his free time. His favorite subjects in school are math and global history. Some of his short-term goals include earning a scholarship to college, becoming successful in his chosen career path, and moving out of the Bronx. In college, he would like to major in science or math and possibly earn a degree in computer science. Jason's proudest accomplishment in life so far is having acquired the ability to juggle his school life, social life, and sports efficiently. One of his strengths is being a good listener and giving advice to his friends or anyone who needs help. One of his weaknesses is being stubborn. A pet peeve Jason has is when people talk about a topic they don't have enough information on. His hopes and goals for the College Now journalism course are to make it through the summer as a hardworking student and complete all the required work.

Mara Uben

Mara Uben grew up in Riverdale, a neighborhood in the Bronx. Over the years, Mara has developed a variety of different hobbies, including watching TV, reading poetry and books such as Catcher in the Rye and 1984, and listening to music. Her favorite music artists are Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator, as she listens to Alternative Pop, Hip-Hop and Rap music. Mara thoroughly enjoys watching shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Supergirl. She believes that her biggest weakness lies in her shyness. Mara enrolled in the Journalism class at Lehman’s College Now program to gain college credits and to become a better writer.

Brandon Velasquez

Brandon Velasquez is a fifteen-year-old tenth grader at Bronx Latin high school who lives in the Bronx. He is a professional gamer and has been playing a variety of games his whole life. Brandon loves to eat a lot of candy and any kind of sugary food, since he believes sugar helps him focus more in class. Brandon loves his long dark hair and often tells his friends that, girls love his hair. His father is a retired army sergeant. Brandon plans to achieve an Advanced Regents Diploma that will help him get a scholarship for college. He is a very social person and is able to use those skills to adapt to different social settings. He wants to be a successful businessman and open his own online shopping company like Amazon.