By RIDA ALI, age 11

PHOTO: Eleanor Hedges Duroy
PHOTO: Eleanor Hedges Duroy

Eleanor Hedges Duroy, age 12, has been writing for IndyKids since 2012.

Rida Ali: What made you want to write for IndyKids?

Eleanor Hedges Duroy: In general I really like to write and place my thoughts down on paper and wanted to help make a difference in the world. My mother found IndyKids and I thought it would be a good place to be able to write more and follow my passion.

Rida: Of all the articles you’ve written, which is your favorite? Why?

Eleanor: I have two articles that I really enjoyed writing and researching. The first one is “Deportation and Family Separation.” This one took some time to research and when I found the information it really led me to think more deeply on the subject. Another article I liked was “Palestine Urges Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.” I think this one made people believe the world is never a perfect place and the article helped bring this fact to people. I also really like the poem I wrote with my brother called “Original Poem: It’s All About that Test” because it expresses how we feel about standardized testing and brings up the fact that there is too much testing in our public schools, and for all the wrong reasons.

Rida: What do you like to do in your free time?

Eleanor: I love to travel around places and explore the things that most people don’t see. We don’t really focus a lot on tourist attractions when we travel. We go to normal towns and countrysides and try to understand and communicate in the culture, and do the things that real people do. I love to read in addition to writing, I read diverse books. I like to write in any genre and about anything as long as it captures my mood and thoughts. I am a member of the FOR club (which works to promote kindness in the schools) and student council at school, play several instruments (including the funky steel drums), help on yearbook, and I am on a robotics team. And I do homework, lots and lots and lots of homework.

Rida: Who is your favorite social justice activist and why?

Eleanor: I admire the people who practice small acts of social justice in a day and on a daily basis. I believe that the average person can make big changes and bring different thoughts to people by being the kind of person who stands up for other’s rights, who draws attention to inequalities in the communities where they live and who makes people think about the bigger issues in the world through daily conversation.

Rida: What inspires you?

Eleanor: My mother really inspires me, she pushes me to always look at an issue from different perspectives and to keep my mind open to learning new things. Anything can inspire me to write, when I think of a good topic, thoughts come easily to my head and I write them down quickly.