Miles Mann and Yasmina Mansour

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Yasmina Mansour (left) and Miles Mann (right)

Miles Mann and Yasmina Mansour

By Miles Mann

Staff Reporter

“I really did join [The Sentry] with the intention of only writing opinion … To be neutral in a situation is really not in my nature,” Yasmina Mansour said. 

As the newly-appointed Opinion Editor entering her second year on staff, it would appear that Mansour has acted on this intention both effectively and efficiently, allowing her passion for self-expression to shape her expertly-crafted writing. 

“To be able to write opinion … as an extension of [myself] is when my voice shines the most,” Mansour said.

She cites the opinion sections of major news outlets as inspiration integral to her interest in the editorial pursuit. The daughter of two journalists, Mansour is no stranger to the field, yet stresses that she never considered it as a career path, instead opting for a STEM focus. 

Outside of school, Mansour will rarely be caught watching television shows or movies, instead choosing to spend her limited free time curled up with a good book. However, she finds moments of leisure increasingly hard to come by as a result of her penchant for social activism, campaigning for causes she sees as elementary to achieving the dream of an equitable America. 

“My friends and I co-founded this organization called Generation Ratify. It’s all based around the fact that the [Equal Rights Amendment] is not ratified … If I was a politician that [would be] the one issue I’d build my career off of,” Mansour said. 

An avid member of multiple youth activist groups, she is clearly a motivated and fierce member of The Sentry. 

When able to find breaks in her busy schedule, Mansour’s preferred vacation spot is Lebanon, specifically the beautiful beaches close to the Syrian border. 

“I go [to Lebanon] every summer. We don’t have a lot of tourist traffic, which is great, and we have every kind of climate; we have mountains, beaches, caves, you name it. I love it there,” Mansour said. 

Unafraid to let her take on a subject be known, Mansour recognizes that she is never one to back down from conflict, instead reveling in the opportunity to present her side of an argument and hopefully change some minds. In a house filled practically to the brim with a constant flow of factual information, it is her ability to inject passion and relatability into cold, neutral information that makes her perspective an invaluable resource for The Sentry.

 

By Yasmina Mansour

Opinion Editor

You can tell a lot about a person by their zodiac sign; unfortunately, Miles Mann does not know his. Without the ability to assign a checklist of predetermined traits based on his birthday, one must actually converse with the sophomore to get to know him. But trust me; the conversation with the teenager wise beyond his years will be worth it. 

While only in his second year of high school, Mann seems to already have this whole life thing figured out. 

“You know, life changes. You change, and that’s fine. Don’t waste time holding on to who you were…. Keep in mind, how you change is where you’re meant to be in the future, and if it’s not, everything will right itself,” Mann said. 

With all the time he saves not stressing over the future like most high school students, Mann pours his energy into the social causes he believes in most. 

“I’m very outspoken about… America’s political system. The fact that corporations can lobby is just, in my opinion, so idiotic. People claim that America is the greatest country in the world because of the founding ideals…. But those ideals have never been reached. [America] is not the country of the free but of the people who claim they are free and the people who know they aren’t. At the end of the day, corporations influence laws that affect the average person, which is completely against the idea of an ideal America,” Mann said. 

These views are definitely not taught in school, but are a testament to how well-read the sophomore is. He attributes his opinions and stubborn nature to his love of reading, economics and history. And it seems like his hobbies have paid off, seeing as he was the first to receive the coveted  “A” on an essay in English teacher Chrissy Wiedemann’s ninth-grade English class.

“[My friends] don’t shut up [about the “A”]. It was the first essay of the year, she didn’t know me all that well…. I’m not too proud of the essay, I think it deserved a solid “B.” But [my friends] like it,” Mann said. 

This speaks volumes about the new Sentry reporter’s skill. An outstanding grade on a Wiedemann essay is difficult to come by, especially on the first one. Thankfully, this year, Mann will be able to share his work through the newspaper rather than letting his writing gather dust in Google Docs. And he already has his eye on a certain section. 

“Coming to The Sentry, I was like ‘I’m gunning for [the opinion section]’…. I just really enjoy finding facts in a situation… and adding my own spin. [Opinion] is just a powerful medium,” Mann said. 

A singular conversation with Mann quickly reveals his quick-wit and charismatic nature, enthralling anyone who meets him. There is no doubt in my mind that these traits, along with his undeniable passion, will make Mann a force to be reckoned with as a reporter for The Yorktown Sentry.