Sierra Zaccagnino - Pennsylvania Interview by Diamond Orin Nomination by Caryn Gratz Photography by Inspiring Teens Magazine Issue 37 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination:Sierra Zaccagnino, Editor of Inspiring Teens Magazine, is a creative and natural leader with unwavering determination. In school she is her class’ public relations officer, the VP of the National English Honor Society, an FBLA competitor and voting delegate, and a team leader of the freshman mentor program. She does this all while maintaining a high academic standard of being in the top 10% of her 400+ student class. Sierra spends much of her free time drawing and painting, playing piano, writing stories, and turning sketches into fashion designs. After college, she aims to pursue a career in advertising and marketing.
Photography by Inspiring Teens Magazine
How did you get involved with Inspiring Teens Magazine and what does your role as editor entail? What do you like most about being involved with so many teens from all over the world through it? I initially wrote articles and participated in photoshoots for the magazine starting my freshman year of high school. Over the years I have had a couple of ideas on how to improve the magazine and keep things fresh, so I was very happy to accept the editor position at the start of my junior year. My primary responsibility is to review all interview submissions from nominated teens and edit their writing, without altering their stories. One of my favorite parts of my position is leading our online international meetings where members come together to develop leadership conferences and global service projects. I love getting to know and speak with the inspiring teens who I read so much about!
What do you like so much about being a leader? Being a leader is important to me because I have the opportunity to foster a collaborative community and I get to uplift others. People look up to you as a leader, and I enjoy carrying that responsibility.
What are your duties as a class’ public relations officer? As the public relations officer, I control the class profile on social media platforms and use these platforms, as well as regular print media, to share and receive information with the student population. I also work with the other student officers to plan and run popular events such as the Homecoming Dance, Junior Prom, Fall Festival, and Senior Prom.
How do you balance extra circulars and your leadership positions while maintaining top 10% in your class? Most of my extracurriculars and leadership positions revolve around subjects that I already work on in school, so I like to view these activities as extensions of my learning outside the classroom. Additionally, I find it best to take challenging classes that you’re truly interested in because then you will have more motivation to learn and excel. For example, I choose to take more English and history courses because I know that I’m willing to put in the effort for subjects I love.
Photography by Sierra Zaccagnino
What kind of fashion do you like to design, why? I like to blend contemporary and artistic fashion because there is something incredibly satisfying about wearing clothes that I’ve designed myself, but it is also rewarding to see more experimental ideas come to life. I was fortunate enough to spend some of last summer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago learning all about fashion design through the lens of fabric manipulation and dimensional art.
What is your favorite kind of story, why? While I do have a soft spot for certain historical tales, my favorite type of stories are primarily realistic or dystopian fiction. In general, I enjoy a book with good character development, appropriate pacing, unique point (or points) of view, and a distinctive voice. Some memorable books that I’ve read recently are Disappearing Earth and Normal People.
How does everything you do keep you so focused on your final goal? Storytelling is a big part of my identity given that I often incorporate it in all my creative and even academic ventures. I know that I can use a strength like this in the future within an advertising or marketing career because I will need to analyze situations from multiple viewpoints. Knowing this furthermore encourages me to continue expressing myself and seek new experiences from which to learn.