By YUUKI REAL, age 15
Yuuki Real: How did you first hear about IndyKids, and why did you decide to write for it?
Marisa Hirschfield: I first learned about IndyKids from my fourth grade teacher. Because I am interested in social justice and writing, it sounded very interesting and I decided to give it a go. Over the years, IndyKids has also helped me at school. While learning about social justice and political topics at school, I can connect what I have learned and written about at IndyKids.
Did you have any interest in journalism or writing before?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I had never tried journalism before. I was mostly doing creative writing until I discovered IndyKids.
Do you read a lot? Who’s your favorite author?
I read often, and it helps me improve my writing. I have read a lot of books on the Holocaust, including The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank), and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Some of my other favorite authors are R.J. Palacio (Wonder), Rebecca Stead (Goodbye Stranger) and Veronica Roth (Divergent).
Do you have any hobbies?
A few of my hobbies include writing, swimming, playing basketball and watching the TV series Friends.
Of the articles you’ve written for IndyKids, which one’s your favorite? Why?
My favorite article that I have written was a cover article about Islamophobia. I really enjoyed writing this because it is a subject that I didn’t know a lot about, yet it was very interesting and timely. I learned many new facts about real-world challenges, and I got to interview a young Muslim activist about her own experience and work, which I found very exciting.