by Pete Mazzaccaro
If you read the Chestnut Hill Local regularly, you’ve been reading their work all summer.
But this was the last week of a summer-long internship by two local high school students – Lizzie Stricklin, of Whitemarsh Township, and Lucy Curtis, of Mt. Airy.
Both young women wrote dozens of stories for the Local over the last several months as part of an annual internship funded by the Anna Fisher Clark Memorial Fund, which is administered by the Chestnut Hill Community Fund.
Clark, for whom the internship is named, was active in politics and community affairs. Her community activities included serving as volunteer director of Bird In Hand, the consignment shop that benefits physical improvements in Chestnut Hill. The internship is given by Mrs. Clark’s husband, Dr. Thomas Clark, and her children.
Stricklin will be entering the 12th grade at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School next week and will serve as the editor-in-chief of Town Crier, the school newspaper. She is a member of the school band and orchestra, the Colonial Players’ theater productions, the a cappella club, National Honor Society and Odyssey of the Mind, an international problem-solving competition.
Curtis will be a senior at Germantown Friends School in the fall and will continue as editor-in-chief at her school paper, The Earthquake.
Curtis wrote memorable stories for the Local about the ruins of Buttercup Cottage on Cresheim Valley Drive and the story of how a major USDA research center was built in Wyndmoor. Her favorite story was about a local start-up business.
“My favorite story to write this summer was the story about Chris Mattingly and his gardening business, Backyard Eats,” she said. “I liked writing that story because I got to visit different places around town to do research and take pictures. The article was also rewarding to write because I felt like I strengthened some writing skills that had been feeling a bit shaky. One of these skills was writing a good lead, which is the opening sentence of an article, which is hard to get right and has been something I’ve been working on all summer.”
In the last month, Stricklin had begun working on beat reporting on the Friends of the Wissahickon. She detailed the organization’s recent $1 million trail restoration project and was working on a story about its “All Trails Challenge” in her last week on the job.
Her favorite was one of the first things she wrote during her internship.
“I really liked writing about the Global Solutions Lab at Chestnut Hill College earlier this summer because I was able to talk to so many interesting people who came from all over the world,” she said. “It was while working on this article that I did my first ever phone interview, and it was the first time that I interviewed multiple people for an article. Working on this article very early into the internship was a real eye-opener for me, and I got to see how through journalism, I can really get the chance to talk to and interact with people I would never speak to otherwise.”
Stricklin said she’s not sure where college will take her.
“I plan on probably majoring in English,” she said. “I’m not too sure what I want to do, career-wise, but I certainly want to travel and help people as best as I can. Perhaps I’ll do this through journalism or politics or service work, I’m just not sure yet.”
Curtis is also is interested in pursuing writing and is also not certain about post college.
“In college I think I want to study writing and communications,” she said. “In terms of my career I’m not sure yet – but I do want to do something where I can write and tell stories. Whether that is journalism or not I don’t know yet. I am excited to continue writing, and hope to be able to pursue that both academically and professionally.”