Get the scoop on this year's teen reporters

Editor's note: The Scoop is back this year with students who represent different high schools and offer different perspectives on life. The Guam Daily Post is pleased to introduce them to our readers.

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Morellano values hard work, commitment, communication

By Tianna Cruz

The Scoop

With an interest in writing short stories, Jaralynn Tammi Morellano is ready to shed light on important issues that need to be addressed.

The John F. Kennedy High School senior is a new member of The Scoop. She wanted to seize the opportunity to advance her writing skills and expand her network connections by joining the team of young journalists.

"I love being informed and informing others, and (I thought) it'd be a great experience to get to know new people," she said.

She dedicates her time to coaching for the IslandersFC Youth League as well as being an active member in student council for her graduating class. Her love for hard work and commitment is what drives her to persevere through the special projects she picks up, making sure she always puts her best foot forward.

Aside from partaking in school activities, Morellano enjoys drawing and painting during her free time.

She plans on furthering her education to become a forensic scientist and hopes that her time as a reporter will help her become a better communicator.

"I'd like to be able to write in ways where everyone can understand my ideas and thoughts," she said.

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Nochefranca: 'Language can unite people'

By Jonathan Pizarro

The Scoop

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nochefranca wants to change the world through education.

A senior at John F. Kennedy High School, Nochefranca is interested in many fields and careers. She desires to learn more about herself, other people and the world. One of her greatest ambitions is the pursuit of knowledge.

Nochefranca is a voracious reader interested in social service. She joined The Scoop last year and returns this year to help raise awareness of social problems, and also refine her writing skills and surround herself with like-minded peers. She has volunteered in various community organizations like Island Girl Power, which seeks to inform Guam's youth and share with them life skills that serve as building blocks to success.

Currently, Nochefranca is studying to be an English teacher at the secondary and post-secondary level.

"I am studying to teach English literature in university. I believe language can unite people; it's able to help people. I want to help students be able to find their own voice, to be vocal and to express themselves," she said.

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Pizarro relays social change and solutions

By Sophie Nochefranca

The Scoop

To 17-year old Jonathan Pizarro, the significance of journalism is captured in the voices of the community.

The senior at St. John's School devotes himself to the reinvention of the world around him. Driven, his tenacity is strengthened by his pursuit in deconstructing real world problems, shown in his ambition to be an engineer. Meticulous and quick-witted, Pizarro seized the opportunity to broaden his writing styles and abilities with The Scoop. This is Pizarro's second year.

"The news is a powerful outlet for raising awareness of issues, good and bad," Pizarro recognized. "If I can spark conversations, movements for the people of Guam, then that's a positive impact."

Fostering an astute perception of the issues plaguing society, Pizarro seeks to expand the impact of his writing; the aspiration to raise awareness of current events and controversial topics acts as his motive. The senior, entering his second year as a Scoop journalist with unwavering keenness, resolves to further shine light on the plights in cultural and environmental affairs.

Adamant in his career path, Pizarro expects his experiences with the program to align with his goal to become a mechanical or environmental engineer. "It's in the name, to engineer," he said. "(They) design solutions – solving real world problems."

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Yang advocates for our environment

By Eunice De Belen

The Scoop

Many readers of The Guam Daily Post may already be familiar with Enqi Yang, who joins The Scoop for the first time this year.

He's taken photographs, using telescopic cameras, of Guam's skies, most recently the blood red moon that had thousands of Guamanians peering through cloudy skies for a glimpse of the rare natural event. He's also captured some man-made events that nevertheless had thousands craning their heads up to the sky, with the recent drone light show and fireworks display on July 21.

His passion for the natural wonders of the world around us and his desire to promote conservation of our island's natural resources started early.

Now a Harvest Christian Academy senior, Yang would often visit UnderWater World in Tumon where he would be fascinated by the marine life on display. Yang received his Advanced Open Water diving license in his freshman year. He finds relaxation in marine life, as it gives him the opportunity to enjoy nature.

Expanding his knowledge of marine biology, over the summer the 17-year-old joined NSF INCLUDES: SEAS, an internship program at the University of Guam that aims to educate ways to prevent coral bleaching. Yang wishes to pursue a career in environmental science, and has an immediate goal of diversifying his knowledge about the environment.

Yang wishes to be known as someone who has "strong core values" and aspires to find ways to conserve nature for future generations to enjoy.

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De Belen: Making life better by helping others

By Enqi Yang

The Scoop

Eunice De Belen, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, is deeply committed to using her talents to care for those around her.

Growing up in the Philippines, she saw the struggles of underprivileged students and has since developed a desire to pursue a career dedicated to them.

Throughout high school, De Belen has immersed herself in the medical field and as an extension of that STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In her sophomore year, she participated in a nursing program that gave her the opportunity to interact with patients and become familiar with medical equipment. She uses her free time to learn more about engineering and robotics, and enjoys being part of the Upward Bound program.

One of the skills she developed recently was cooking and baking, she said. She believes that good nutrition is important to the success of students. Her favorite dish is layered ratatouille. Made with red ripe tomatoes, eggplant, yellow bell peppers, zucchini and summer squash, the dish has vibrant colors and a high nutritional value, she said – it packs a bunch of vitamin B6 and potassium.

De Belen said she wants to expand her cooking to brighten those around her and donate to people in need.

As busy as she can get, De Belen said she stays grounded in her core values and makes a conscious effort to stay true to herself.

And no matter what, she said, she will never forget to lend a hand to those around her.

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Cruz: Everyone has a voice and a story

By Jaralynn Tammi Morellano

The Scoop

Okkodo High School's Tianna Cruz doesn't hesitate to share her views.

A firm believer that everyone should be treated equally, she works to give voice to Guamanians in the LGBTQ+ community. A second-year reporter with The Scoop, Cruz uses her enjoyment of writing to help shine a light on issues she believes should get more attention from local community leaders and political officials.

Cruz has said she was particularly inspired while reporting on a story last year with Glenn Lujan, a local advocate for the LGBTQ+ community who calls for people to listen to one another and treat each other with respect and dignity.

It's a lesson she hopes to share with others in the future as an educator. To reach that goal, this past summer she interned at the Career Development Office at the University of Guam, an experience Cruz said she really enjoyed.

When she's not pushing toward her goal of becoming an educator, she serves as a secretary of Okkodo High School's choir club, Magnifico. She said family and friends often find her singing or writing songs. Like writing, Cruz said music is an important part of her life and credits it with broadening her horizons and helping her better understand herself.

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