By: Elias Azizi, Contributing writer
Edited by: Fauzia Haque, Editor; Eve Nevelos, Editor in Chief
During the summer of 2020, after losing nearly an entire semester to COVID-19, I decided to seek a long-term leadership opportunity. While looking through Instagram for leadership positions, I stumbled across the account of an interesting non-profit organization, Teen Health 101. As someone who is quite interested in the health sector and sciences, I decided to take a look at their leadership opportunities. In their Instagram biography, I noticed that they were looking for students who would like to be a part of Teen Health 101. Interested in the non-profit, I filled out their form and applied to be a contributing writer. A few weeks later, I was informed that my application was successful and that I was now a contributing writer for Teen Health 101.
What do contributing writers do?
Contributing writers are responsible for writing health-related articles for Teen Health 101. Before, contributing writers had to write one 600-1500 word article every two weeks. However, as of now, contributing writers must write one 800+ word article a month or two 500+ word articles a month throughout the summer. Furthermore, all contributing writers must ensure that their articles are appropriate and accurate since their writing will be published on the Teen Health 101 website. Teen Health 101’s mission is to combat the spread of misinformation and myths about health. Thus, contributing writers must all make sure that their information is well supported by reliable sources. Overall, time management is a big part of the contributing writer role. If a contributing writer is not able to submit an article by a deadline, they must speak with their editors and request an extension. Communication is key.
My experience as a contributing writer
My experience as a contributing writer for Teen Health 101 was without a doubt great. One thing I really enjoyed about being a contributing writer is the freedom I have when writing my articles. When creating articles, as long as my topic was health-related and followed Teen Health 101’s mission, I could write about it. This means that contributing writers have thousands upon thousands of different topics in which they can investigate when writing their articles. Another thing that I really enjoyed about being a contributing writer is the weekly time commitment. Based on my experience, the role of contributing writer requires around 1-2 hours of time commitment weekly; this may vary for others. The workload and tasks are not extremely heavy, but still require hard work in order to properly complete. When it comes to writing articles, one thing to keep in mind is that the more time one spends writing and planning, the more successful one’s article will likely be. Lastly, the third thing that I especially enjoyed about being a contributing writer was the supportive and hard-working staff. Whenever I asked a question regarding Teen Health 101 affairs to the staff, they always got back to me in a timely manner and gave me a well-explained response. Not to mention, my editors provided intricate comments and suggestions for each and every one of my articles. Their consistent hard work and effort have made my experience as a contributing writer wonderful.
Some skills that I developed while being a contributing writer
Most leadership positions, if not all of them, develop one’s skills. As a contributing writer, I developed many important skills that will certainly benefit me in the future. The first skill I developed was organization, like time management. With school, as well as a plethora of extracurricular activities, I had to be able to manage my time effectively so that I could complete all my tasks on time. My positive experience as a contributing writer has taught me how to properly organize my daily schedule and be more productive. To add on, throughout my time as a contributing writer, I also developed my writing skills. Prior to becoming a contributing writer for Teen Health 101, my writing abilities were not the greatest; I wasn’t a very confident writer and my overall knowledge of conventions was weak. However, after writing over 17 articles and receiving insightful feedback from my editors, I have become a stronger writer and feel more confident about my writing skills. These are two of many types of skills that I have thoroughly developed while volunteering as a contributing writer for Teen Health 101.
In general, my experience with Teen Health 101 as a contributing writer has been amazing. I am very glad that I discovered Teen Health 101 because it is a terrific leadership opportunity. Being a contributing writer for Teen Health 101 has allowed me to contribute to a non-profit organization while practicing and developing many of my skills like time management, quite a win-win situation. Not to mention, Teen Health 101 has helped me explore my interests in the health sciences because it allowed me to investigate a wide range of mental and physical health topics. Since I had such a tremendous time with Teen Health 101 as a contributing writer, I will certainly stay with the non-profit for at least one more year. Those who are interested in the health sector and are seeking a leadership position should definitely apply to become a Teen Health 101 contributing writer. Teen Health 101 has over 400 student staff and is growing rapidly. Thus, they are always searching for more student volunteers, so feel free to apply to Teen Health 101 if you desire. Trust me, your experience with Teen Health 101 will undoubtedly be as great as mine.