The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Author Jennifer De Leon returns with inspiration and advice

Young adult author Jennifer De Leon engaged the creative spirits of the student body during her third annual visit with a dynamic assembly and hands-on writing workshops on April 24.

De Leon’s visit provided the opportunity for students to directly interact with a professional author through an assembly with the freshman class and opening the doors of her writing workshops to all grades. De Leon explained her writing process and empowered students to craft their own stories. Much of her storytelling and advice comes from her own experience having written numerous books including “Borderless” and “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From”.

“I presented on the power of story and storytelling,” De Leon said. “I shared more about my passion for writing and the writing process and my journey towards becoming an author.”

Additionally, this is the first time that she has led a writing workshop at Algonquin.

“Each year we are changing the programming and I thought this year it would be nice to have something that’s separate so that students can focus more and have something to write,” De Leon said.

According to De Leon, her commitment to education and personal ties to the school make her visits even more fulfilling.

“This is my home, my home district,” De Leon said. “I have two sons who are 10 and five so they will be coming here. Just knowing that makes me want to do this more and more and more.”

This personal investment fuels her desire to meaningfully contribute to the students’ literary education.

“I really hope that students see windows and mirrors in my message and in my stories,” De Leon said. “In the best way, Algonquin’s student body, I see it, is becoming more diverse. I think it’s so important to have students of color see themselves reflected in the literature they’re reading and in the people presenting in the auditorium. And also for students who might not have access to those experiences to get a window into them.”

I really hope that students see windows and mirrors in my message and in my stories.

— Author Jennifer De Leon

Senior Oliver Kubik attended one of the writing workshop sessions with his creative writing class and found the experience valuable.

 “A key takeaway that I got was you can use everyday stories and personal narratives to really find a metaphor and every story has a message, regardless of the person’s background,” Kubik said.

During the session, one activity was to write and share a personal narrative about a toy that students wished to have gotten as a child.

“She was very accepting of everyone’s stories and personal narratives,” Kubik said. “She was very non-judgemental with them…she was also willing to help people out with finding something to write about which is always helpful.”

Freshman Nick Morgan also attended a writing workshop as well as the assembly.

“I think creative writing is cool and I want to see how a class would operate if I do take one later at Algonquin,” Morgan said. 

Morgan’s curiosity about writing is the very enthusiasm that De Leon both recognizes and shares. For the past few years, freshman English classes have read her book “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.”

“Honestly, I feel grateful to the English teachers,” De Leon said. “It’s one thing to say you support diverse books but it’s another to embed it in the curriculum year after year…that’s the highest honor. I was a teacher so I know how hard it is to include new texts, you basically just have to build the curriculum from the ground up. I feel super grateful.”

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Contributed
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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Laney Halsey
Laney Halsey, Sports Editor
Laney took Journalism her junior year and has since become an Editor-in-Chief. One of her favorite things about working on the Harbinger is being able to share her writing with the community. In her free time, Laney enjoys playing field hockey, track and the saxophone as well as hanging out with her friends.
Sophia Lalau
Sophia Lalau, Assistant Photo Editor
Sophia took Photojournalism her freshman year and has since become the Photo Editor. One of her favorite parts about being a part of The Harbinger is getting to meet and interact with new people as well as photographing many different events. Aside from being a photographer, Sophia enjoys dancing, reading, listening to music and spending time with her friends.
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
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