Move over, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. An aspiring Brooklyn journalist is primed to succeed and she’s only 11 years old.
Sixth grade student Amelia Poor developed a love for writing early and her passion has already paid off.
This year, she became one of 44 members of the award-winning Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, consisting of a group of talented young reporters, ages 10 to 14, from across the country and around the world who report everything from breaking news to entertainment, politics and local and national news.
The road to her current role took both practice and passion for Poor.
“I had been a part of my elementary school newspaper club,” said Poor, who previously attended P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill. “I went in before school two times a week to work on articles with my classmates and I really loved being involved in the process of putting the newspaper together.”
When Poor, who currently attends M.S. 51 in Park Slope, heard about the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, she couldn’t wait to apply. Last spring, she submitted an application that included an article she had written about issues in her neighborhood and an essay about why she wanted to be a Scholastic News Kids Reporter.
“I worked on a story about segregation in Brooklyn public middle schools. This topic continues to interest me as well as other public education issues such as admissions and testing,” she said.
But her passion for writing was really piqued in third grade, when, she recalled, “I had to do a report for school about French cooking. I wrote to five New York City pastry chefs. All of them wrote me back. Three of them invited me into their kitchens to learn how to make their specialties and I really enjoyed the process of interviewing people. When I was given a writing project in fifth grade, I knew that I wanted to create a political magazine so I wrote two issues and I was able to interview some people. It was such a fun process.”
She was ecstatic when she was chosen by Scholastic.
“It was so amazing,” Poor excitedly said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”
Since becoming a member of the corps, Poor has been able to live her dream by covering an array of topics that interest her.
“I love politics,” she said. “I was lucky enough to ask a question of Mayor de Blasio at a local town hall meeting a couple of months ago and write an article about the possible removal of controversial statues in New York City.”
Amelia Poor with Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson
Poor was also a part of a roundtable discussion on television about the New York City mayoral race and wrote a story about the National Book Awards, interviewing some of her favorite young adult authors.
“I got to hear incredible speeches by so many accomplished authors and I was later given the chance to interview Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson,” she said. “It was exciting to be able to speak to the person that brought so many of my favorite books to print.”
Poor, who also takes dance classes in her down time, knew early on that she wanted to pursue journalism and politics in the future. “I’ve always loved to read anything. I love watching and reading the news. I think it was really cool to see how journalists work and in fifth grade, when I wrote that magazine, I really got to see what it was like to be a journalist and I thought it would be an amazing job.”
Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling and Pam Muñoz Ryan, whom she was able to meet during the National Book Awards.
Poor, who plans to reapply for the program after her year in it is up, has advice for youngsters trying to become writers. “Always be persistent and never ever stop writing,” she said. “The more you write, the better you’ll get and even if you start out not exactly how you want to be as a writer, you’ll get better each time.”