Students study beyond the heart at The School of The New York Times

The School of The New York Times (SONYT) launched the New York City Summer Academy in 2016, providing students across the world the opportunity to further engage in filmmaking, political and cultural knowledge, writing, journalism, and innovative learning beyond the classroom.  Over the summer, six Sacred Heart Greenwich students attended the program, including sophomores Hadley Noonan and Sofia Pye, juniors Daniella Tocco and Jackie Prata, and seniors Karina Badey and Shantel Guzman.

Sofia Pye ’21 and her peers sit on the steps of the New York Times building. Courtesy of The School of The New York Times Facebook Page

SONYT offers a variety of courses such as Visual Arts and Business, Investigative Journalism, Visual Storytelling, Writing the Big City, and 30 other possible classes.  The array of classes allows students to pursue different studies, learning from professional journalists who work for The New York Times and other freelance businesses, according to

Daniella enrolled in the On-Camera Personality course.  This program allowed students to develop a deeper understanding of different media and digital skills.  This course featured several site visits including to the headquarters of MTV, VICE Media LLC, Bloomberg News, Museum of the Moving Image, and New York City’s parks and cultural events, according to

“After my first week in this class, I realized that it was nothing like I had anticipated,” Daniella said.  “Not 
only did we focus on building skills to be an ‘on-camera personality,’ but throughout my two weeks I was able to improve my public speaking and confidence.”

In addition to site visits, students get an opportunity to work with on-screen talent and professional New York producers, according to  Each course culminates in a final project which allows students to showcase what they have learned from the two-week course. 

Sophomore, Hadley Noonan’s first day at The School of The New York Times.  Courtesy of Hadley Noonan ’21. 

Each class helps students develop the skills that are needed to further pursue each of their intended professional pathways, according to

Hadley took the Entrepreneurship/ Architecture and Urban Design/ Tech Innovation course. In this program, students learned the ins and outs of New York City’s architecture and how to report on a diverse city, according to


“I really enjoyed learning from industry professionals and understanding what it is like to be an architect, entrepreneur, and inventor,” Hadley said. “I also appreciated the many field trips we would take to build upon our learning inside the classroom.”

Shantel enrolled in the Investigative Journalism class.  This course covered topics such as police corruption, school segregation, sexual harassment, and abuses of power in politics.  Students had the opportunity to visit sites off campus such as the New York Times morgue, local and federal governmental buildings, and the Tenement Museum, according to  

“The most useful thing I learned from SONYT was public speaking and interview skills. We were brought to tourist attractions around New York City and practiced our interview skills by interviewing random people,” Shantel said.  “This experience helped me become confident in my interview skills.”

Karina Badey ’19 and Shantel Guzman ’19 stand on top of the Rockefeller Center building.
Karina Badey ’19

Karina attended the Pop Music as Art and Business course.  This class gave students the opportunity to learn the business behind the music industry, as well as its role in the twenty-first century.  Students met with professionals from the industry each day to enhance their studies of the cultural, historical, and financial aspects of music across all genres, learning beyond the lyrics, according to   

“This experience was different than other journalism courses because we were not just doing writing workshops,” Karina said.  “We used the city as a platform to our fullest advantage as we reported on real events we attended and got raw interviews from citizens.  Having a New York Times writer as my teacher to critique my work was evidently extremely beneficial to my personal growth as a journalist.”

Featured Image courtesy of The School of the New York Times Facebook Page