The power of writing
By Cayla Clements
At Delaney Sullivan’s high school in Semora, its newspaper is published every other week within her town’s weekly newspaper.
Now, three years after joining the high school newspaper staff, Sullivan has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Roxboro Community School’s “The Bullhorn” and has become a freelance writer for the nearby county’s “The Caswell Messenger.” As Sullivan grows as a writer, so do her opportunities.
Sullivan, 17, was given the option in middle school to take either yearbook or four electives. At the time, Sullivan wanted continuity in her life and chose yearbook.
However, once Sullivan reached high school, neither yearbook nor newspaper was scheduled for her to take. But she soon found that newspaper would be one of the only classes that would fit into her schedule. Throughout her first two years writing for “The Bullhorn,” Sullivan only wrote articles occasionally.
“The first year I primarily focused on book reviews,” Sullivan said. “My sophomore year I became more involved in the digital design aspect.”
Once “The Bullhorn’s” previous editor-in-chief was graduated, Sullivan was elected and “something sparked.” Sullivan had found her calling.
“By being a writer, you have the capability to let people enter worlds that they never thought they can previously live in,” Sullivan said.
In Sullivan’s small town, there is not enough interest to distribute “The Bullhorn,” so it is published within her town’s “The Courier Times.” Through her relationship with her advisor, Sullivan was granted the opportunity to freelance professionally in 2015.
She said it feels great to have articles published in “The Caswell Messenger” because “it gives me a glimpse of what the future can hold.”
In addition to her work for “The Caswell Messenger,” Sullivan also occasionally writes for “Teen Voices,” a women’s magazine based in New York City.
Sullivan has two main career goals – either to either be a travel columnist or work in public relations. Sullivan became interested in public relations after aquatinting herself with the public relations coordinator of a college president and would enjoy helping people communicate to their benefit.
“It’s a way of conveying what a person wants to say to another,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has become interested in being a travel columnist after becoming so accustomed to traveling. Sullivan, along with her parents and sister, go on a substantial vacation each year to locations such as Canada, Alaska, Italy, Turks and Caicos, Las Vegas and New York.
“I like continuously immersing myself in culture and learning about it,” Sullivan said. “If I had the opportunity to travel the world for free and experience what so many people don’t, that would be a great opportunity.”
Sullivan plans on attending college and has had her sights set on UNC-Chapel Hill since joining the Carolina Kids Club with her friend in second grade. She has considered double majoring in fields such as print journalism, strategic communication, mass communications and creative writing. She also is considering minoring is psychology due to what she called a “knack for understanding people.”
Sullivan, an apparent opportunist, has made the most of her time as a young journalist. Her intrinsically motivated ambitions stem from the responsibility she believes a journalist has.
“I really do enjoy letting people know what’s happening right under them that they might not have known was happening,” Sullivan said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to influence lives without realizing that you’re doing it.”