The education of an aspiring journalist

By Amanda Loviza

You may have noticed that The Hurleyville Senti­nel has an up-and-coming star on its culture beat. Fallsburg resident Gabri­ela Almonte takes her own photographs and writes pieces on the Hurleyville arts scene… and she’s only 8 years old.

Gabriela Almonte, 8, is an aspiring journalist and photographer. Here the third grader inter­views performers at the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop Valentine’s Cabaret.

Ms. Almonte joined the Sentinel staff last year, after pitching a detailed proposal to her mother, Ms. Aman­da Ward, about why she should skip summer camp to focus on other pursuits, which included her interest in writing for the Sentinel. Gabriela is tenacious and knows what she wants, Ms. Ward said, and writing for the Sentinel is the perfect avenue for her to exercise her inquisitive mind and develop her story telling skills.

“She has a million ques­tions to ask and will not stop exploring until she gets an answer,” Ms. Ward said.

Ms. Almonte can be found at local events with an oversized pen and a notepad, scrawling notes in the cursive script she re­cently learned at the Home­stead School. She previous­ly covered a local painting party and a Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop perfor­mance of Miracle on 34th Street for the Sentinel, and in February, she covered the dramatic workshop’s Valentine’s Cabaret. Af­ter interviewing workshop members Jim Schmidt, Leon Hilfstein, Teri Hall, Mekayla Perneszi, Ellen Pavloff, Heather Strauss and Shawn Bailey, Ms. Almonte had rave reviews for the performers and the show.

Three of the many performers at the SCDW Valentine’s Cabaret.

“They are fabulous sing­ers and great actresses and I love their personalities,” Ms. Almonte wrote. “It’s amazing how they do it.”

The Valentine’s Cabaret left her “feeling happy,” Ms. Almonte said.

Readers will be able to read more of Ms. Almonte’s coverage in future editions of the Sentinel, as well as see her photos. She asked Santa for a professional camera, so that she can con­tinue to bring the hamlet of Hurleyville to life on the pages of the Sentinel.