Local grade-schooler breaks into national journalism
Amy Coyne Bredeson
A Hilton Head Island 10-year-old has hit the big time.
Christopher Nguyen is one of 12 students from across the U.S. who was chosen as a Time For Kids Kid Reporter for the 2017-18 school year. Three hundred students applied for the job.
The fifth-grader, who wants to be a structural engineer one day, enjoys reading Time For Kids in his classroom at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. He also enjoys writing. So, when he heard about the magazine's talent search, he jumped at the opportunity.
"I was very excited to get a chance to be one of the reporters," Christopher said.
The first step in the process was to write a news article. Christopher decided to interview Hilton Head Island town manager Steve Riley about his experience dealing with Hurricane Matthew.
Christopher's article apparently impressed the judges, because he was one of 30 children to make the cut.
Next Christopher had to write a story about a "hometown hero" and submit a two- to three-minute video demonstrating the top five amazing things people should know about him.
Christopher chose a family friend, Trip Sloan, to interview for the article. As a member of the Marine Rescue Squadron, Sloan had rescued a North Carolina family's missing dog, and that made him a hero in Christopher's eyes.
On Aug. 25, surrounded by classmates and teachers, Christopher received the news that he had been chosen as a Time For Kids reporter. Classmates clapped and cheered after hearing the voicemail message from Time.
Christopher is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of his media badge and his first official assignment. He already has one story idea in the hopper. He hopes to write about the sixth graders at his school who will soon be participating in Montessori Model United Nations.
Christopher will be expected to write one assignment each month over the next year. His articles will be published in the digital and print versions of the magazine.
"I believe everyone has a story to tell," Christopher said in his video submission to Time. "And all we have to do is listen."
Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.