By Emma Prashad
The following is the first installment in a series of stories written by the 10 talented participants in the 2022 Hofstra University Summer High School Journalism Institute. In this piece, Emma Prashad, of Elmont Memorial High School, profiles Christopher Diaz, of Uniondale High. All participants were asked to write short biographies on one another as an opening exercise.
Each weekday afternoon from July 11 to 22, Christopher Diaz, 17, a rising Uniondale High School senior, reflected on the new skills and information that he learned at the Hofstra University Summer High School Journalism Institute as he drove himself home, he said. He remembered how surprised he was that he was accepted into the institute and how happy he was when he received word that he had been.
In his two weeks at the institute, Diaz said, he learned how to communicate through words and images, pay attention to detail, research and investigate, and be persistent — all skills, he noted, that will help him in his future career in business.
Diaz, who excels in many subjects in school, said he hopes to attend Columbia University or Cornell University and major in business. In the future, he wants to build a construction business, which he is inspired to do by his father, who is in construction. He also said he is also considering working on the business side of medicine because, although he does not wish to practice medicine, he still wants to help the medical field.
At Uniondale High, Diaz is in the My Brothers Keeper Club, Chess Club and Math Honor Society. MBK, a national network started by President Barack Obama to eliminate the educational opportunity gap faced by boys and young men of color, provides a sense of brotherhood, Diaz said, and he likes serving as an example to younger members. He said he enjoys Chess Club because of its calm environment. He has played chess since he was a child and finds it fascinating and challenging because it’s a game of calculation for which players must think ahead.
In his free time, Diaz enjoys playing soccer, working out, practicing piano and learning Japanese. His musical tastes are diverse, ranging from reggaeton to classical piano and rap. His favorite TV show is currently “Peaky Blinders” on Netflix.
Diaz said he is heavily motivated by his family and strongly dislikes wasting his time. He would much rather be productive and improve himself, he noted.
His parents emigrated from Guatemala to the United States, and he speaks Spanish fluently. Diaz has a fraternal twin brother and another brother and sister. He likes being a twin because he feels like he is never alone, as he is closely connected to his twin.
Although Diaz said he does not plan to be a journalist in the future, he believes the Summer High School Journalism Institute “serves as an inspiration to young journalists and really teaches that there are many benefits to getting involved with journalism, and there are many interesting areas of journalism to go into.”