"I'm crazy about journalism, as I love being able to open people's eyes to unique events and powerful ideas in the world around them."
Editorial Board Spotlight May 2018
"To me, the sustainable development goals which we promote serve as comprehensive and beneficial blueprints for an optimized global culture."
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Hi! I’m Ilana Arougheti, a junior from New Jersey. I love reading, writing, travel, and scenic design. I’m also passionate about ethics and activism, which I explore through involvement in my school’s Mock Trial and Ethics Bowl programs, and as a co-president of my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. I’m crazy about journalism, as I love being able to open people's eyes to unique events and powerful ideas in the world around them. Along with my work with Actions in Spotlight, I’m an editor-in-chief of my school newspaper, Eastside. Throughout high school, I have won news broadcasting awards through my local PBS station; breaking news and page layout awards from my state student press association; multimedia feature and poetry awards from the National Scholastic Press Association; and honorable mentions in feature writing, photo illustration, and multimedia feature through the International Quill and Scroll Society. I am also on the National Journalism Honor Roll.
What does Actions in Spotlight mean to you, and why is it important for you to promote the sustainable development goals?
I find Actions in Spotlight’s Editorial Board incredibly rewarding in that it grants me a voice for activism while exercising my first love, writing. Actions in Spotlight is exactly what it sounds like; a force for creative empowerment. I consider myself both a cynic and a humanist; therefore, I know that the world faces many issues, but I believe in humanity’s collective power and drive to improve. To me, the sustainable development goals which we promote serve as comprehensive and beneficial blueprints for an optimized global culture, so I’m proud that I get to share my interpretations of these goals with our readers.
What has been your favorite submission so far? What was it about and what was the story behind your work?
I’ve enjoyed working with all of the site’s writing formats, but I especially had fun writing Red, my response to the goal of Good Health and Well-Being. I don’t write fiction often, so it was a great chance for me to refocus on prose. Red follows a young man fighting to save the life of his lover, who is dying of AIDS but lives in an area without adequate social or medical resources. As a proud bisexual individual and LGBT+ advocate, it breaks my heart to know that despite how far we have come in the fight against AIDS, this progress has not been felt in many parts of the world. In the end, I tried to infuse these personal emotions into the plot, which gave the story greater depth. I hope readers reach the end of the story with bated breath and new empathy.
What are your goals for the future? How do you think Actions in Spotlight plays into these goals?
A lot of people say that they want to change the world; however, I say that the world is changing anyway and I’d rather understand, and then impact, the way that the world can be seen by others. After hopefully studying journalism, psychology, or sociology in college, I want to continue exploring powerful human issues, through written work, fieldwork, legislation, or otherwise. I hope that the work with global improvement goals that I have begun to do with Actions in Spotlight will continue to empower me as an active and conscientious voice for change.