New cohort of SWAG writers introduce one another
Our 2019-2020 Student Writers Advisory Group (SWAG) was tasked with writing profiles on one another as their first assignment of the year.
SWAG is comprised of students from Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, West Linn and Wilsonville high schools. Each month students tackle a new topic.
For October, SWAG members got to know each other through practicing profile writing.
Ethan Gill's passion for writing
Ethan Gill is serious about writing, especially in newspapers.
Gill is a junior at West Linn High School. His favorite subjects in school are English and civics. Besides that, he enjoys creative writing, both as a subject in school and as a craft.
Gill is interested in reading poetry; Shel Silverstein is his choice in poets. He doesn't care for writing poetry though, especially not haikus.
J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Stephen King's "11/22/63" and Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" are his favorite novels. Rowling and McMurtry are his favorite authors.
Aside from literature, he'd tell you he's somewhat of a film buff. He loves horror and sci-fi movies. "The Godfather" and "Cool Hand Luke" are his top movies.
Later in the interview, Gill talked about the stress of junior year and college. As of now, he is undecided on what college he wants to attend; he plans to major in creative writing. After college, he plans to become a fiction author.
Although this is Gill's first year as a SWAG member, writing for a newspaper is nothing new to him. He is a part of his school's newspaper where he has gained experience as a staff reporter, co-arts and culture editor, and an opinion editor. His school's paper highlights a "diverse range of topics,covering everything from climate change to football and film reviews.
From Gill's involvement with his school's paper to his appreciation for creative writing, he is a great new addition to SWAG.
-- Lily DeVine, Lake Oswego High School
Lily DeVine starts her fourth year on SWAG team
Entering her fourth year in the Student Writers Advisory Guild, Lily DeVine, a senior at Lake Oswego High School, is ready to write simply for the love of it.
"According to my eighth grade english teacher, I was somewhat decent and I loved the craft," DeVine said.
DeVine has been apart of SWAG since her grandmother forwarded an email to her detailing the program.
Despite having been a part of SWAG for the past four years, she has never actually been a member of Lake Views, Lake Oswego High School's student newspaper and website.
"I simply never got around to it," said DeVine. DeVine has also never taken any Advanced Placement classes. Her reason for doing so is the sheer workload that comes with AP classes.
DeVine's ideal journalistic job is to work as part of a political beat at a newspaper.
SWAG has been a large part of DeVine's development as a writer. She cites the program as being a key factor in her becoming more political, as well as more self disciplined in comparison to before she joined SWAG.
Her favorite article she ever wrote for SWAG was on mental health because of the importance of mental health awareness in today's society.
"SWAG has helped my writing become more current," DeVine said.
-Ethan Gill, West Linn High School
Skylar Moore's love for journalism
Skylar Moore, a junior at West Linn High School, is "incredibly excited to be a part of SWAG this year." She hopes to apply her experience from being a part of her school's publication, The Amplifier, since her freshman year.
She's also one of its co-editors-in-chief. She said that role gives her the opportunity to "guide and help other people that are on staff" while also continuing to improve as a writer herself. She finds the publication's class to be engaging precisely because she enjoys applying her skills to "real-world situations."
Moore first decided to dive into journalism to improve her communication skills, but chose to stay in the subject because of her love for meeting people.
"[It's] because of the people … I really enjoy meeting people through interviews and telling their stories to students at my school," she said.
In terms of what she'd like to do in the future, Moore is particularly passionate about creative writing. She and her cousin, a film student, often joke that they'll one day become partners in the Hollywood industry with Moore as a screenwriter. On the other hand, her interest in business and management has led her to consider going into publishing as another career path.
When she isn't focused on writing and literature, Moore competes in varsity tennis for West Linn and practices the piano, which she's been playing the piano for the past nine years.
Her multifaceted array of talents and interests no doubt brings something special to the SWAG squad.
-Andrea Yang, Lake Oswego High School
Isabella Scalise hopes to write on meaningful topics
With an array of various ways to spend her time outside of school, Isabella Scalise, sophomore, chooses to allocate her time to writing.
Scalise developed her passion for writing at a young age, which has allowed her to carry the creative outlet as a personal forum for expression throughout her 15 years. She enjoys everything from creative short stories to poetry, and has entered a number or writing contests to help develop her interest.
While Scalise has never taken a journalism class at Wilsonville High School, her anticipation to dip into another writing style is what compelled her to join SWAG. Scalise also hopes to enroll in her high school's journalism class next year.
Scalise enjoys delving into topics like the environment, which is why many of her creative writing pieces are tailored to incorporate some aspect of the natural world and its importance.
Scalise is looking to share her opinion on other meaningful topics similar to the environment, which is something she hopes to do through SWAG.
She's interested in potentially pursuing a career in the medical field, and she knows that journalism and communication will help teach important skills that she'll be able to utilize later on.
Outside of writing and journalism, Scalise has been playing the cello for five years through her school's orchestra.
She has a younger sister who's a freshman, and she has a golden retriever named Chewbacca who's 7 years old. Scalise spent the first eight years of her life in California, moved to West Linn for three years, then moved back to California again, before returning to West Linn where she lives now. She enjoys aspects from each state, specifically the green in Oregon and the food and weather from California, but Scalise said she's happy to be in West Linn again.
-Skylar Moore, West Linn High School
Looking forward to what SWAG brings
Andrea Yang is currently a senior at Lake Oswego High School, and is thrilled to embark on this year's SWAG journey.
Yang has always had a passion for writing and advocating her opinions on both local and national news. She strongly believes that the youth should have opportunities to share their opinions and she does just that as she approaches her third year participating in her school's newspaper, "Lake Views".
This year, she holds the honorable position of editor-in-chief. SWAG is another exemplary outlet for Yang to express herself in this way.
Yang is also a member of the speech and debate team, and is interested in the field of STEM and social sciences. Some of her other hobbies include swimming and traveling.
One of her most memorable travel experiences was to Europe, where she got to assimilate herself with people of different backgrounds and enjoyed immersing herself into the unique culture. Not to mention, the food was spectacular!
Isabella Scalise, Willsonville High School
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