As a child, Zoe Kwasnicki saw her Spruce Hill neighborhood change before her eyes. Though she didn’t understand it at the time, she watched as new buildings went up, and her community changed.
Now 15, and more aware of gentrification’s effects, she wants to inform her community, through journalism, about the covert harmful impacts that new, expensive real estate can have on a community.
With this intention in mind, she sought out a journalism class for her sophomore year at the Science Leadership Academy. School is where she’s most in her element, she said. She’s a self-proclaimed “school nerd,” who loves to analyze works of literature in class and innovate technological solutions on the school’s robotics team. She has won awards on her First Lego League robotics team, and a Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference award for her waterwheel invention. The waterwheel separated sewage and litter from fresh rain water.
With a keen eye for writing and a solutions-oriented mind, she hopes to wield those skills to help her community see the negative impacts she saw as a child.
“You can’t change the past, but you can be aware,” she said, and learn from it.
Outside of school, Zoe works to better her community through local neighborhood projects. Last year, she was awarded the Silver Award in her Girl Scout Troop for renovating the Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary.
In her free time, she loves watching John Hughes movies and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on her beloved ’90s styled, bulky-backed television.
She plans to dedicate her journalistic endeavors to benefiting her community in every way possible.