May 12, 2022 (Buffalo, New York) – Two high school sophomores from Buffalo have landed coveted spots in The New York Times Summer Academy in New York City where they will learn about journalism from New York Times staff reporters and editors while living at a Fordham University dormitory.

Mary Goetz and Katie Rooney, students at Buffalo Seminary and residents of Buffalo, are headed to the City in June for a two-week course, “Writing The Big City: Reporting in New York.” The students will learn “essential skills in order to produce insightful and ethical reporting, how to conduct interviews, create informative and entertaining content, and discover the unseen amid millions of people in New York City,” according to the Academy.

This year, the Summer Academy has received nearly 10,000 applications that will result in 2,000 enrollees. Each course accommodates about 24 students, said Farrah Barash, Associate Director of Pre-College Admissions, at The School of The New York Times.

Miss Goetz and Miss Rooney both write for The Monocle, the school newspaper, and participate in the school’s Journalism Club. Mary said her interest in journalism began at a young age and has only intensified.

“I was in 5th or 6th grade. I was watching the news and I wanted to be the person who reported the facts and helped people make informed decisions,” Miss Goetz said. “I wanted to do that and help change the world.”

Janelle Harb, a Computer Science Teacher and the Journalism Club advisor, said it is highly unusual for two students to be accepted into the program from the same school – let alone from such a small school. However, she is not surprised. Ms. Harb said that both of the young ladies came to her about reviving the student newspaper, The Monocle, in their freshman year. Soon thereafter, they were able to begin writing for it and publishing it again.

“The most amazing part is that they are so passionate about journalism at this age. And, here at SEM, it just fits our philosophy because we support all of our students in their interests and provide the tools necessary to explore educational, college and career opportunities,” Ms. Harb said. “I’m so excited for them; if not a little nervous – like a big sister!”

The students each submitted transcripts, a writing sample, two short essays responding to the application questionnaires, and a reference. Miss Goetz’ writing sample was her article for The Monocle about Brittany Spears’ conservatorship and Miss Rooney submitted her Monocle column assessing a local coffee shop verus a Starbucks; both of which are close to campus and popular with the students.

Miss Rooney is approaching the course as another way to help her determine if journalism is the career for her.

“I love writing for The Monocle and I’m really excited to be in New York. I love it there; there’s so much going on, especially in the summer,” Miss Rooney said. “I’m also excited to learn from the experts on how to write and how to report.”

About Buffalo Seminary

Buffalo Seminary is an independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls located in the historic Elmwood Village of Buffalo, New York. Founded in 1851, SEM is among the oldest schools for girls in the United States. The school building, which was opened in 1908, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Our five student and faculty residences are renovated historic homes adjacent to our school building joined together by the Magavern-Sutton Courtyard.

Buffalo Seminary provides an innovative, challenging and flexible college preparatory education for girls from all over the country and the world. We are accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools. We are members of The National Association of Independent Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), The Small Boarding School Association (SBSA), National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), and the Online School for Girls. We have a Gold Seal of Transparency from Guidestar, the world’s source for information on nonprofits and are a continuously Top-Rated School on Niche.