Senior Spotlight: Ariel Harsinay

If there’s one person who has a bright future ahead of them, it’s Ariel Harsinay. In every seat she fills, whether it be editor and chief of the Sider Press, a member of the national and art honor societies, or star runner on the cross country team, Ariel sets the bar incredibly high. With an intimidating schedule of nearly all AP courses, Ariel still manages to maintain a high honor roll status all the while participating in an array of other activities. She even excels in the comedic field with her notably quick wit. Though I’d like to think I’m closest with her, sarcasm is her best friend (hence her superlative). Anyone that’s ever had an interaction with Ariel will leave questioning the validity behind her positions as “the prime minister of Canada” or “the president of Kayak Club” (both to which she has falsely claimed she’s held positions for). Nevertheless, Ariel steals the show in everything she does.

Even though Ariel is fairly new to Oceanside, having moved here in the eighth grade, she has no doubt left her mark on the community as any other Oceanside native. Last year, the Sider Press launched its transition to an online publication, a largely complicated process in which a whole renovation for the school newspaper took place. Assuming you visited the site to read this article, you probably took note of the new and improved design, all thanks to Ariel. She stunned the Sider Press advisors with her savvy expertise and is the go-to student for any needed fixes/alterations. Her tireless efforts to make The Sider Press all that it is today truly paid off at LIU’s Journalism awards where she and co-editor and chief, Julia Woods accepted the “Best Online Publication” award. The Sider Press later coined the appropriate headline, “visually appealing and easy to navigate.”

Ariel however does more than just work behind the screens of The Sider Press. She also is a key producer of the award-winning articles for Oceanside. For Hofstra University’s 10th Annual Long Island Press High School Journalism Awards, Ariel received a total of 5 wins. Among these placements, Ariel’s article concerning the art department placed in first for all three of the following categories: Story of the Year, In Depth Reporting, and Investigative. “Global Warming: Fact or Fiction” as well as “How the Media Normalized Trump” also placed in 2nd for Environmental and Opinion categories. Ariel evidently has a talent for writing and her pieces are exceptional reflections for what she cares about. Ranging from school issues, the political climate of today’s society,  to environmental threats in our world, Ariel has incorporated her voice in her writing- a task that doesn’t come easy for many.

Similarly, Ariel has exhibited her means of self-expression through her art. Though she is incredibly humble about her artistic talent, Ariel contributed to the large, painted pieces that decorated the walls during Sportnight and thus aided the White Team in their victory this year. The details within each piece only goes to show her unwavering dedication and commitment to being part of a team. As part of the Art Honor Society, Ariel drew a portrait of a young orphan from the Ukraine, which was later packaged and shipped to the Ukraine for the child to keep. It’s no surprise Ariel uses her passion for art to do good for others. Currently, Ariel is working on breathtaking starry night hybrid with a city skyline as part of her AP experience. Her creativity and artistic vision is surely one of a kind.  

In addition to her impressive talents in writing and art, Ariel also excels in the scientific field where she participated in a two-year research internship at Mount Sinai Hospital. For the entirety of the two months over the summer, she had commuted to the city hospital to conduct research behind autism and epilepsy. Most recently, Ariel won an award at NYSSEF for her conclusions cumulated over the last two years. Walking the polluted streets of NYC and riding hot subway cars everyday of the summer doesn’t sound ideal for most students, but Ariel seems to have been just fine with these conditions if it meant doing what she loved.

After high school, Ariel plans to study neuroscience at the University of Southern California. If both the school and choice of major isn’t impressive enough, she will also be spending her first semester abroad in Italy. Ariel is so incredibly prepared I have no worry in my heart that she’ll do amazing in whatever she does. I am more than excited to see where this journey takes her (all the way to Europe and California to be exact).